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La Crosse County board races mostly uncontested

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There won’t be any big changes on the La Crosse County Board this spring.

Twenty-four people appear to be guaranteed election to the board next week, and only one is not an incumbent.

Only five of 29 incumbent board members have challengers in the election next week. And, only one incumbent decided to retire this year.

In the last county board election two years ago, 10 districts had contested races, and incumbents prevailed in many of them.

So, a vast majority of the supervisors will be re-elected without opposition but that’s not something that worries county board chair Tara Johnson.

“We don’t normally have tons and tons of contested races,” she said.

Johnson thinks general disdain for politicians is reflected by local participation in elections.

“It’s not like we have a great examples of people standing up and saying, “Boy, being an elected official is a really reverared, admired, respected job in our culture right now,’” Johnson said.

The county board is younger and more diverse than it was a decade ago, however. Three supervisors have been on the board 30 years or more but many others have served only about 10.

The number of contested races in 2016 was higher — 10 out of 29. Johnson attributed that increase to a recruitment drive by local Republicans, protesting the sale of the old courthouse and the move of county offices into the old Associated Bank.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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