Eau Claire (WQOW) –For the first time in 10 years, there will be a primary election in February to trim down the number of city council candidates on the ballot in April.
Studies have shown people are more engaged in their communities and politics in previous decades. The proof is in the list of people running for Eau Claire City Council and the fact that we need a primary just to whittle it down.
Six seats are up for grabs on the city council. The first is for president; there’s a special election because Kerry Kincaid resigned last year. Acting City Council President Andrew Werthmann will face off against Terry Weld who is vacating his at-large seat.
There are five available at-large seats on the council up for election this year, and 12 people are running for them:
- Kirk Ausman
- Kate Beaton (I)
- Laura Benjamin
- Catherine Emmanuelle (I)
- David Klinkhammer
- John Lor
- Chandler Lorentz
- Kate Martin
- Donald Motzing
- Dale Poynter
- Echo Reardon
- Kyle Woodman
Among those candidates, incumbents Catherine Emmanuelle and Kate Beaton look to keep their chairs another term, while Dave Strobel and Michael Xiong are not running for re-election. David Klinkhammer is running again after losing in the last election. Another familiar name, Echo Reardon, who ran to represent the 91st Assembly District back in November, is also on the list.
News 18 spoke with Eau Claire City Clerk Carrie Riepl about why she thinks so many people are running this year. “I think people are just taking more interest in what’s happening in their city,” Riepl said. “It’s a great thing.”
Reipl said the last primary election had roughly 15 percent of eligible voter turnout, and she expects similar numbers this year.
Of the 12 candidates running in the primary, the top 10 will make it to the ballot in April. You can vote for up to five of them during the primary, which is now set for February 19th.