If only there had been this much interest in an Oshkosh Common Council seat in December.
New North B2B President and Owner Sean Fitzgerald, 39, has filed papers to become the fifth write-in candidate seeking a seat on the Oshkosh Common Council.
The five write-in candidates, combined with incumbents Deb Allison-Aasby and Tom Pech Jr. who both appear on the ballot, now mean seven candidates are seeking the three seats up for election this year. The only open seat comes courtesy of Councilor Bob Poeschl, who decided not to seek another term.
If all seven had secured more than 200 nominating signatures before the early January deadline, it would have forced a February primary.
Fitzgerald sent out an e-mail to friends and family Monday morning announcing he had filed necessary paperwork with City Clerk Pamela Ubrig to be considered as a write-in candidate. He has also established a bank account in case Fitzgerald for Council undertakes any campaign fundraising or expenditures.
Fitzgerald said he has wanted to run for council on multiple occasions and considered circulating nominating papers in December, but did not for family and business reasons. But he said with the write-in campaigns afoot and Councilor Jef Hall stepping down–leaving a seat to be filled through an entirely different process–Fitzgerald said the time was right to pursue a two-year term to help continue to move the city forward.
In his e-mail he cites Oaklwan Elementary School construction, the downtown hotel renovation, growth at UWO and Fox Valley Technical College, the new aviation industrial park and growing interest in redeveloping the central city as evidence that Oshkosh is on “a positive track in recent years toward achieving the potential it has as an outstanding place to start a business, raise a family, educate our children, find fulfilling and meaningful employment, and to ultimately enjoy a healthy and safe lifestyle.”
“After the (nominating) deadline passed, I regretted not getting in,” Fitzgerald said. “It was really when Jef Hall’s resignation from the council came out it made me step forward. I think the city’s heading a positive direction right now and I want to carry that momentum forward.”
Update: On Tuesday, Christina Crook, a Middle Village resident, raised the write-in pool to six when she filed the necessary paperwork with the Oshkosh City Clerk’s office.
Voters will now see two candidates on the ballot and have a crowded field of six write-ins to choose from when they go to the polls on April 2.