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Flyer depicting two Holmen School Board candidates as racist called out by all running



The trickle down of partisan politics into local elections has reached the school board races.

Part of a conversation Friday on La Crosse Talk PM asked UW-L political science professor, Dr. Anthony Chergosky, his thoughts on how that partisanship is contaminating what are supposed to be nonpartisan races.

Well, 24 hours later, the school board race in Holmen will now have to endure through an ugly incident.

Four people are running for two seats on the Holmen School Board:

  • Josh Neumann
  • Rebecca Rieber
  • Barbara Wuensch
  • Chad Updike

Voting for the three-year terms will take place April 5.

A flyer that was seen on Reddit and could have possibly been put on a windshield at a grocery store in Holmen depicts two candidates in a very negative, racist manner. The flyer was made to look like it came from the candidates.

WIZM will not share what the flyer said.

WIZM did contact Holmen School Board president Cheryl Hancock around 6 p.m. Saturday to let her know about the flyer. Hancock immediately contacted those candidates.

About three hours later, all four candidates in the race had statements condemning what the flyer had said and calling for action.

Both Neumann and Updike put out identical statements, calling the flyer fake and asked for action from both the other candidates in the race — which did happen — as well as an investigation from the La Crosse County District Attorney.

WIZM left a message with La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke and will post his response when it is received.

Here are all the statements from the candidates:

NEUMANN / UPDIKE: Today we were victims of a disgusting and vile fake political ad, which was posted on social media platforms, our campaign pages and circulated throughout the community. This is a blatant attack trying to discredit both of us in an attempt to gain political advantage. We are asking our opponents in the school board race, Barb Wuensch and Rebecca Rieber, to condemn such unbelievable behavior. We also urge the other two candidates to join our call for the La Crosse County District Attorney to open an investigation to find the person responsible for this disgusting act and prosecute them.

“Our primary goal in running for school board has been to give the entire community a voice on the board by bringing people together. This attack by people who do not want to see us on the board for political reasons only furthers the divide.”

RIEBER: “I am appalled and saddened by a picture related to our school board election that was shared with me today. It is vile and hateful and this type of campaigning has no place in our community. I join Chad and Josh in seeking an investigation into this event.”

WUENCH: “A picture of a flyer was shared with me earlier today endorsing two of my opponents in the upcoming school board election, the creator of such is unclear at this time. I am disgusted by it and condemn the bigoted and racist sentiments. This needs to be investigated. Hate has no place in our community or school district.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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