(This story has been updated to include comments from candidates.)
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Jason Zaleski has won the race for district seven, the Marshfield Common Council’s only contested race and the only race that will bring a new face to the council.
Zaleski garnered 496 votes, and his opponent Ed Korlesky received 200 votes. City Clerk Deb Hall said turnout was massive citywide as 65 percent of registered voters in Marshfield participated in Tuesday’s election. Hall said the last time Marshfield had a presidential preference election — in April of 2012 — turnout was just 32 percent of registered voters.
“It was a lot of fun,” Zaleski said of the campaign, adding that he felt “so much support in the neighborhood.”
“The emotions now, just excited and looking forward to getting to work,” Zaleski added. “I really believe my job is to represent my district, my neighborhood, and by that I mean the will of the people.”
The race for district seven got heated as Election Day approached. Zaleski positioned himself as a candidate that would fit in well to the existing council and criticized statements Korlesky made in which he questioned existing city leadership.
“Congratulations to Z (Zaleski) for winning, and apparently the people of the seventh ward are content with the status quo,” Korlesky said when reached for comment on Tuesday night.
Mayor Chris Meyer expressed a favorable opinion of Zaleski.
“From the beginning of this seventh district race, I have been impressed by Jason because he’s been out talking to people, moving around the district. I’ve seen him out knocking on doors every weekend it seems,” Meyer added.
Rest of the council retains seats easily
Every council incumbent running for re-election did so unopposed, and Mike Feirer (district one), Chris Jockheck (three), Ed Wagner (five), and Tom Buttke (nine) retained their seats. Meyer also ran unopposed and retained his seat for what he says will be his last term.
The common council as a whole has changed little over its last two elections, with only two incumbents — Char Smith, who lost her bid for re-election to current alderman Rich Reinart in 2015, and Gary Cummings, who did not seek re-election in district seven in Tuesday’s election — being replaced.
Common council members serve two-year terms, and those elected on April 5 will be sworn in on April 19, according to Hall.