A partisan battle is shaping up in La Crosse County over a committee designed to be nonpartisan.
Seven county board members and six citizen candidates are up for seats on a county redistricting committee.
La Crosse County Republican Party chair Bill Feehan says the list is dominated by Democrats. He wants some spots on the committee set aside specifically for members of both parties.
One prominent Republican among the candidates is supervisor Kevin Hoyer, who ran for the Assembly in the 94th District last year.
County Board chair Monica Kruse has chosen the nominees to be voted on by the board Thursday. She said she wasn’t required to choose a certain number of members from either party.
“This is not a partisan committee,” Kruse told WIZM. “Appointments were not made with Republicans and Democrats in mind, but rather people who were suited to the task, people who had the experience to do a good job redistricting.”
Feehan argues that Kruse did not pick Republicans because she didn’t have to, and it shows that Democrats want to control the county government.
Among nominees who are not in county government, Kruse has included former board chair Tara Johnson, Onalaska Mayor Kim Smith and retired La Crosse Tribune editor Rusty Cunningham.
Hoyer was the Republican challenger to Assemblyman Steve Doyle, who is nominated to the committee as a county supervisor.
County leaders have decided that new supervisory districts cannot be drawn in time for the 2022 county board races, so the new lines would take effect after the 2024 spring election.