Newcomers Win Big on Council
Second District too close to call; major upsets in districts three, nine
City Times Staff
With only 24 percent of eligible voters casting ballots, almost half the City Council was overturned in Tuesday’s spring election.
George Doxtator, alderman for District 1, was the only incumbent to win re-election. Doxtator, who now enters his second term in office, ran unopposed for the seat and won 219 votes.
In District 2, newcomer Denise Mrozek barely scraped by incumbent Hans Walther, with unofficial results of 129-116. Walther is serving out the remainder of the late Joanne Suomi’s term in office and had previously served the district prior to Suomi. Morzek, who did not attend any pubic candidate forums, is an employee of Sentry Insurance and has degrees in business administration and accounting.
District 3 saw the lowest voter turnout- and one of the most surprising upsets in the city- with new face Garrett Ryan taking the reigns from longtime public servant Mike O’Meara by a vote of 97-76. Ryan is a fairly recent transplant to Stevens Point from Illinois but has been active in community action groups locally, to include the Old Main Neighborhood Association and Revisioning Point.
In the 5th District, Bryan Van Stippen beat out challenger Allen Rasmussen, 206-187. The seat became available when Alderwoman Mary Stroik announced she would not seek another term, opting instead to spend more time her family.
Mary Kneebone won over challenger Sal Cuomo in a contest for Ald. Roger Trzebiatowski’s 7th District seat. Trzebiatowski, one of the longest-serving members of the Council, announced last year he was retiring. Kneebone’s experience, which includes public service in Texas and military service during the Vietnam War, struck more of a chord with voters over Cuomo’s community-driven past with organizations like Boy Scouts and the Elk’s Lodge. Kneebone won the district by a vote of 247-127.
In another surprising outcome, long-serving Councilman Randy Stroik was ousted by challenger Mary McComb. McComb is a downtown business owner who says she spent several years living outside the area, but ultimately her love of the Stevens Point community and vested interest in local business issues was enough to bring in hefty support, despite Stroik’s experience, by a count of 225-187.
District 11 has a new face to represent itself in Shaun Morrow, who won over public servant Jeff Presley by a vote of 97-68. Presley has also served on the school board and Portage Co. Board of Supervisors. Morrow is an employee with the state’s department of probation and parole. That district had the second-lowest voter turnout.
All results of Tuesday’s election are unofficial until next week’s canvass, when absentee ballots are counted.