Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, to elect presidential, congressional, state and several county candidates.
The presidential election is the big draw for many voters, especially in Wisconsin where candidates have spent a lot of time campaigning. While none of the candidates nor their spouses have made public appearances in Portage County, others have campaigned here on their behalf, including Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau.
Running for president and vice president are incumbent Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Constitution Party candidates Virgil Goode and Jim Clymer, Libertarians Gary Johnson and James P. Gray, Party for Socialism and Liberation candidates Gloria La Riva and Filberto Ramirez Jr., Socialist Equality Party candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer and Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ben Manski (Manski is listed on the ballot as a placeholder for Cheri Honkala, who is the party’s vice presidential candidate but was selected after ballots were printed).
In congressional races, former Wisconsin Republican Governor Tommy G. Thompson will face Democrat Tammy Baldwin as the key candidates for the U.S. Senatorial seat being vacated by Herb Kohl. Also on the ballot are Libertarian Joseph Kexel and I.D.E.A. candidate Nimrod Y.U. Allen III.
Local voters will no longer play a factor in deciding the 7th Congressional District representative in the House of Representatives, as they have for decades, due to re-districting last year that put the county in the 3rd Congressional District. Instead they will vote for either incumbent Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, or Republican challenger Ray Boland, Sparta.
Some of the biggest changes local voters will see as a result of the election will be those at the local level sparked by state Rep. Louis Molepske Jr., D-Stevens Point, who opted not to run for re-election for his 71st Assembly seat and instead for Portage County district attorney, which was vacated by Thomas B. Eagon when he was elected a Portage County Circuit Court judge in April.
Molepske defeated Veronica Isherwood, a Portage County assistant district attorney, 4,074 votes to 2,204 in a Democratic primary election Tuesday, Aug. 14, to capture the Democratic nomination. He will run unopposed for the seat in the general election.
As a result of his decision to not run for re-election in the state Assembly, a number of Democratic candidates ran for his seat in the primary, with Katrina Shankland, a state political leader fellow with the Center for Progressive Leadership, winning the nomination.
She will face Republican Patrick Testin, a manager at Mattress Firm in Plover, for Molepske’s seat.
The 71st Assembly District covers the towns of Alban, Amherst, Belmont, Buena Vista, Lanark, Linwood, New Hope, Plover, Sharon, Stockton and Ward 3 in the town of Grant; the villages of Amherst, Amherst Junction, Nelsonville, Park Ridge, Plover, Rosholt and Whiting; and Wards 1-33 in the city of Stevens Point.
In the 70th Assembly District, incumbent Democrat Amy Sue Vruwink, Milladore, will face Republican challenger Nancy L. Vandermeer. The district includes the towns of Carson, Dewey, Eau Pleine and Hull; the village of Junction City; Ward 2 in the village of Milladore; and Wards 34 and 35 in the city of Stevens Point.
In state Senate District 24, which includes all of Portage County, incumbent Democrat Julie Lassa, Stevens Point, will be challenged by Republican Scott Kenneth Noble, Marshfield.
Running unopposed are incumbent Democrats Shirley Simonis for county clerk, Stephanie Stokes for county treasurer, Cynthia Wisinski for county register of deeds and Joseph Glodowski for county surveyor.
Stevens Point polling places are District 1 at Hi-Rise Manor, 1300 Briggs Court; District 2 at the Recreation Center, 2442 Sims Ave.; District 3 at the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St.; District 4 at Madison School, 600 Maria Drive; District 5 at Jefferson School, 1800 East Ave.; District 6 at McKinley School, 2926 Blaine St.; District 7 at the National Guard Armory, 3116 Jefferson St.; District 8 at Washington School, 3500 Prais St.; District 9 at Lincoln Center, 1519 Water St.; District 10 at the Portage County Health Care Center, 825 Whiting Ave.; and District 11 at Pacelli High School, 1301 Maria Drive.
The village polling places are Almond, Municipal Center, Main Street; Amherst, Municipal Building, 160 Mill St.; Amherst Junction, Village Hall, 3980 Second St.; Junction City, Village Hall, 1001 Main St.; Milladore, Village Hall, 722 Bradley Ave.; Nelsonville, Village Hall, 9500 County Trunk SS; Park Ridge, Village Hall, 24 Crestwood Drive; Plover, Plover Municipal Center, 2400 Post Road; Rosholt, Village Hall, 137 N. Main St.; and Whiting, Municipal Center, 3600 Water St.
The town polling places are Alban, American Legion Hall, 290 Grand Ave. E., Rosholt; Almond, American Legion Hall, 1401 Division St.; Amherst, Town Hall, 4023 County Road Q; Belmont, Town Hall, 9110 16th Road; Buena Vista, Town Hall, 6684 County Road BB; Carson, Town Hall, 3756 County Road M; Dewey, Town Hall, 430 Dewey Drive; Eau Pleine, Town Hall, 3191 State Highway 34; Grant, Town Hall, County Road WW and 90th Street; Hull, Fire Station, 4818 Wojcik Memorial Drive; Lanark, Town Hall, intersection of County Trunk A and Town Hall Road, four miles south of Amherst; Linwood, Town Hall, 3160 Mill Creek Drive; New Hope, Town Hall, intersection of County Road A and Town Hall Road; Pine Grove, Municipal Center, 5444 County Trunk W, Bancroft; Plover, Municipal Building, 5081 Hoover Ave. South, intersection of Highway 54 and Hoover Avenue; Sharon, Town Hall (Old Edison School), Highway 66, one-half mile west of Ellis; and Stockton, Town Hall, 7252 Sixth St., Custer (east of Custer Road).
Portage County election returns will be available on the Portage County website at www.co.portage.wi.us by clicking on the “Election Results” tab on the left side of the page. The results will be updated periodically as they are tabulated, and users should click on the “refresh” button on their Internet page to update the more current results.