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Candidates prep for fall elections
MONROE - In less than two weeks, the circus of fall nomination papers can begin.

Candidates for state offices can begin circulating nomination papers starting April 15, in preparation for the fall primary and general elections.

This year state senator seats in odd-numbered districts and all state Assembly seats are up for grabs. Lafayette County has three of those races going on, and Green Country participates in five.

State Assembly


Wisconsin Assembly District 51 could be the best local-interest race to watch. Most of Lafayette County and the four most southwestern townships in Green County are in the 51st, along with parts of Iowa, Sauk, and Richland counties.

Republican Howard Marklein, the district's state representative since 2011, is leaving the position to step into a run for the state Senate this fall.

The number of declared candidates ready to take his place now stands at seven - two Democrats and five Republicans, three of which have joined the list since November, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability board website.

Assembly District 51 candidates taking their marks at the starting line so far are Pat Bomhack, D-Spring Green; Richard Cates, D-Spring Green; Charles Nichols, R-Linden; Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville; Curt Peterson, R-Dodgeville; Dennis Polivka, R-Spring Green; and Kenneth Rynes, Jr., R-Richland.

Nearly the same situation is happening on the eastern side of Green County in Assembly District 45, which also covers part of Rock County, including Beloit.

Two Democrats from Beloit, Sheila De Forest and Mark Spreitzer, will square off at the August fall primary, and the winner will then face the still-lone, declared Republican candidate, Russell J. Rucker from Orfordville in November.

Democrat Janis Ringhand is vacating the 45th Assembly seat for her run in the Senate.

State Senate


Southwest Green County voters in Senate District 17 can expect also to see some campaign action later this summer.

Republican incumbent Dale W. Schultz is stepping down. Marklein and Ernest Wittwer, D-Hillpoint, are the only candidates so far in that race, primed for the general election in November.

Having made her declaration of candidacy in October, Democrat Janis Ringhand of Evansville is the only candidate, so far, for the Senate District 15 seat. That senate seat is being left empty by Democrat Tim Cullen, who has filed notification of non-candidacy. The district boundary takes in the eastern side of Green County.

Still without a challenger, Senator Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, filed his candidacy papers March 3, to seek re-election. Erpenbach has served the 27th District since 1999. District 27 covers the northern third of Green County.

The deadline for candidates to file nomination papers and other ballot access documents is 5 p.m. Monday, June 2. The first day to circulate nomination papers is April 15.

The Partisan Primary will be held Tuesday, Aug. 12, with the General Election coming Tuesday, Nov. 4.