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Overview of upcoming Eau Claire City Council race

eau claire city hall
Exterior of the Eau Claire City Hall

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Of the five Eau Claire City Council seats up for re-election, three of those positions are contested, meaning there are two people up against one another.

One of these is the Second District on Eau Claire's south side. The district is currently represented by Emily Anderson, who said she wants to keep Eau Claire moving forward. In a written statement to News 18, she said she wants to move the city forward with science-based health and environmental policies, alongside a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion. She added the city needs to create housing options and an economy that works for everyone.

Kyle Woodman is also running for the second district, but did not give News 18 a comment for this story.

Looking at the Third District, Jeremy Gragert is running for his second term on city council. Gragert said over the past three years, he has been working to improve Eau Claire's transit system and its accessibility to residents. He said he has also worked to engage his constituents in local government.

"Trying to make an affordable and more vibrant city is really my focus," Gragert said. "Those quality of life issues that help attract people to Eau Claire, help people stay here, and help businesses that want to locate here and grow here."

Also running for this seat is Josh Stanley, who said in a written statement that, if elected, he intends to bring a citizen-first perspective to the city council. Stanley said he'll focus on fiscal responsibility, supporting small businesses, and protecting individual freedoms. Another focus, he said, is looking at the city's housing shortage and how the council can remedy this by encouraging additional construction in Eau Claire.

In the Fifth District, which covers much of downtown, incumbent Andrew Werthmann is running for this fifth term. Werthmann said he is focused on housing issues, helping small businesses, and social justice issues. He added that he's looking ahead to ways Eau Claire can be prepared for the future.

"And whether that is massive flooding, whether that is vector-borne illnesses, these are the kinds of things we are going to see more and more of in a changing world and we need to be ready for those things and thinking about, how do we build resiliency in our own community, and I am committed to those things if re-elected," Werthmann said.

Running against Werthmann is Gabriel Schlieve, a UW-Eau Claire student who has cerebral palsy. Schlieve said in Eau Claire, many spaces are not accessible to people with disabilities, so he wants to make that issue a bigger focus in our community.

"I'm running for people who should have a bigger voice. And I'm running because I feel like no one else really sees this as much of an issue as I do," Schlieve said.

If you live in Eau Claire's First or Fourth districts, you may be wondering where your races stand. Those positions are uncontested with incumbents Emily Berge and Jill Christopherson running for re-election.

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Felicity Bosk

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