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In the News: Staff Columns

We need YOU to run for local office

Wednesday, November 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Aaron Stauffacher, assoc. director of gov. affairs
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It’s that time of the year again – time to decide if you should get involved in local government. Notices are out for the spring election and that means seats on county, village and town boards are up for grabs. The time is now to throw your hat in the ring.

Over the past few years, we have seen local governments propose and/or enact drastic measures with the potential to limit your ability to farm. From manure spreading prohibitions to livestock facility moratoriums, we can no longer assume, even at the local level, that our leaders understand today’s agricultural practices. What is commonly missing when these proposals are introduced, whether it is in the county board room or at the town hall, are farmers or someone else involved in agriculture. Too often, the agricultural community finds out too late and must play defense to prevent unnecessary and unfair rules. Sometimes it works, other times it does not.

Serving in local government is (usually) not glamorous. However, it is becoming increasingly necessary for our farming community to be directly involved or at least indirectly tuned into what’s going on in local jurisdictions. As anti-agriculture influence strengthens, and people are further removed from agriculture, you need to evaluate whether there is someone at your local level that will stand up for agriculture. If there is not, then you or someone you know might be the person for the job.

If you consider running for office or encouraging a fellow resident to run for local office this spring, we would like to support you.

To get started, visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission at This site will provide you with a checklist, including the need to collect signatures for your nomination. The election is in April, but the deadline to file those signatures is Jan. 2, so it’s time to get started.

Candidates need to fill out a registration statement, declaration of candidacy and nomination papers with signatures and submit them to the municipal clerk. Towns and villages may choose whether to use nomination papers or nomination by caucus to appear on the ballot. If you are in a town or village using the caucus method, you must attend a separate town meeting where candidates are nominated and voted on to appear on the ballot. If you are nominated in caucus, the deadline to submit the required papers is five days after receiving written notice.

Important dates:

  • Jan. 2 – Filing deadline for county supervisor and town and village boards using nomination papers.
  • Jan. 2 to Jan. 21 – Meeting for town and village boards using caucus. (Meeting announced in December.)
  • Feb. 19 – Primary election, for races with more than two candidates competing for one position.
  • April 2 – Spring election

Please reach out to me if you have questions at

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