Election Day is less than a week away, but that hasn’t stopped city residents from expanding the list of write-in candidates for the Oshkosh Common Council.
Two incumbents, Deb Allison-Aasby and Tom Pech Jr., will appear on the ballot. But Councilor Bob Poeschl’s decision not to seek re-election, combined with no one else securing the 200 signatures required to get their name on the ballot, has led to a free-for-all with everyday citizens deciding this might be the chance to get involved in shaping the city’s future.
This week, two more residents formally registered with the Oshkosh City Clerk’s office to bring the total number of write-in candidates to nine.
On Tuesday, Caroline Panske, 31, became the eighth resident to formally register as a write-in candidate. Panske works at Oak’s Chocolate, applauds the city’s efforts to encourage small business growth in the central city and feels she’d be a good councilor because she represents the average citizen.
“I consider myself a normal Oshkosh resident and I want to see what my point of view could bring to the table,” Panske said. “I love Oshkosh. I work for a local, family-owned business and my parents and uncle and aunt both have small businesses here. I like what we’ve been doing to drive business downtown and I’d like to see that continue. I think Oshkosh has a lot to offer.”
And on Wednesday morning, First Presbyterian Church Pastor Tom Willadsen, 49, became the ninth write-in candidate hoping to win a seat on the board.
Willadsen said he’d bring his background in urban planning to bear on the job and felt it was time to try to give something back to the city his family has called home for 14 years.
Here’s a full list of the write-in candidates as it stands on Friday morning: