Marshfield area voters to see contested races in city, school, and county
By Mike Warren
MARSHFIELD – The former Marshfield mayor removed from the office last March will try to win the job back. Bob McManus was one of three candidates to file valid nomination papers with the city clerk’s office by the Jan. 4 deadline to secure a place on the Feb. 15 primary election ballot.
The other candidates are former downtown business owner and former Main Street Board member, Lois TeStrake, and Ken Bargender, a former alderman who lost his bid for reelection last April. The three will square off in the primary election, which will narrow the field of candidates down to two for the spring election April 5.
The mayor’s office has sat empty since last March, when the common council voted 8-2 to remove McManus from the post, over allegations of misconduct. A majority of the 10 aldermen agreed at the time McManus deleted text messages he should not have and misled city officials and the public about it. McManus was first elected mayor in April of 2018, and reelected in 2020. Bargender served one term as District 4 alderman from 2019 to 2021, when he was defeated by current incumbent Brian Varsho.
Meanwhile, there will be at least one new face on the Marshfield Common Council this spring. Mike O’Reilly is currently running unopposed for the District 9 seat being given up by incumbent Tom Buttke. But because Buttke waited too long to notify the city clerk’s office that he was not running again, the deadline for filing nomination papers for that particular seat had to be extended to Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. Any additional candidates who meet the deadline will be verified in following days.
Meanwhile, a second new member might be added to the council. Natasha Tompkins is challenging District 3 incumbent Quentin Rosandich.
The other aldermen up for reelection this year – Mike Feirer in District 1, Ed Wagner in District 5, and Adam Fischer in District 7 – are running unopposed.
Feirer and Wagner, meanwhile, face opposition for the seats they currently hold on the Wood County Board of Supervisors. Feirer, in District 3, is being challenged by the outgoing District 9 Marshfield Alderman, Tom Buttke. Wagner, in District 4, is opposed by Russell Perlock. Three other Marshfield incumbents – Dave LaFontaine in District 1, Donna Rozar in District 2, and Adam Fischer in District 5 – are all running unopposed.
There will also be at least one new member of the Marshfield School District’s Board of Education. Incumbent Dr. Kajal Sitwala. who won a write-in campaign three years ago, is not running for reelection. She currently holds one of two seats up for election this year. The other is held by incumbent Dale Yakaites, who is seeking another three-year term.
Four others are also on the ballot for a necessary Feb. 15 primary election. They are Rebecca Oliver, Alanna J. Feddick-Goodwin, Iddi Adam, and Kathy Gorst. The top four vote-getters advance to the April 5 election.
This year’s will be the first board of education primary in the Marshfield School District since 2016.