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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April 6 Election Endorsements

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There are fewer high-profile elections in the spring, and therefore fewer people turn out for these nonpartisan elections, but they are still important. So we urge voters to go to the polls on Tuesday, April 6, to voice their opinions on issues of local concern and the direction of their communities.

While there are no municipal elections in the city of Milwaukee, here are the Shepherd’s endorsements in selected races in the metro Milwaukee area:

Waukesha Mayor: Larry Nelson

Mayor Larry Nelson has been a breath of fresh air in Waukesha, and his four years in office show the benefits of adding smart, sustainable development to a growing city. We also like his willingness to engage the region to solve difficult problems. Yes, Waukesha’s request for Lake Michigan water is a controversial one. But if done right, it can be a model for subsequent requests in other areas of the country. Nelson’s opponent, Jeff Scrima, has good intentions but not the concrete solutions that a growing city needs. Nelson has definitely earned another four years as mayor.

Cudahy Mayor: Ryan McCue

Cudahy is on the upswing, and its mayor, Ryan McCue, deserves some of the credit. McCue has been able to attract and retain employers while nurturing the city’s downtown. It’s a difficult time to be a mayor, but we believe that McCue can advance the best interests of Cudahy during the current economic downturn. Tony Day, McCue’s challenger, doesn’t have the broad background McCue possesses, and his call for a part-time mayor and the hiring of a new full-time city administrator would significantly decrease voters’ influence on important local issues.

Brookfield Mayor: Steve Ponto

Voters in Brookfield have a chance to elect a new mayor who’s already thoroughly immersed in local issues: Steve Ponto,an attorney who has served Brookfield as alderman for 12 years. We’re impressed by Ponto’s educational and professional background, his stated willingness to work with other communities in the region, and his careful consideration of plans for I-94. Brookfield will need a strong, practical leader in the coming years, and we think Ponto is the best candidate for mayor.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge: Richard Congdon

The differences between the two candidates in this race are substantial. The incumbent, Richard Congdon, was appointed to the bench in January 2009, and he has worked hard to move cases through the system as fairly and expediently as possible. He’s a professional on the bench, and the Shepherd asks voters to support him on April 6. In contrast, Republican legislator Mark Gundrum of New Berlin has created a highly ideological and divisive record in the state Assembly, and we doubt that those appearing in his courtroom would be treated without bias. Support Judge Congdon instead.

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