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La Crosse political watchers hoping for mayor primary voters to be informed

Brad Williams

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The end of the Donald Trump impeachment trial dominated political news this weekend, but an important political event for La Crosse residents happens this week.

On Tuesday, city voters will reduce a field of 10 primary candidates for mayor to just 2 for the April election.

Primary turnout is expected to be under 20 percent, and UW-La Crosse political scientist Anthony Chergosky would like voters to pay more attention to local politics that affects their daily lives.

“Their local government really matters, so it deeply disturbs me that so few people vote, and that small number of voters may not be representative of the views and interests of the broader population,” said Chergosky during a discussion on the La Crosse public radio show “Newsmakers.”

Chergosky said the candidates for mayor seem to be cautious before the primary, but thinks that when the field is down to two people is when we’re likely to hear more ideas from them about policies and new programs for the city.

Chergosky said primary voters have to educate themselves about the candidates, because they don’t run under party labels.

Panel members discussing the mayor’s race identified housing, homelessness, and police oversight as issues which have gotten the attention of La Crosse voters during the primary campaign.

Writer Eric Timmons with the La Crosse Independent says the council contests will require some attention from voters in the next few weeks.

“Half the council is up for election, and only one incumbent is seeking re-election,” said Timmons. “There’s a lot of very diverse and young field of candidates who are exciting and have a lot of new ideas. I think that’s what deserves more attention, more so than the mayoral race.”

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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