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Voters have choices in city election

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River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

For the first time in a decade or more, there are races for each open Hudson City Council position that will be filled in the spring election.

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Mayor Jack Breault, a 10-year incumbent, is being challenged by current Alderman James Mayer.

The District 2 aldermanic race pits incumbent Dennis B. O'Connell, 1352 Carriage Drive, against David H. Miller, 1805 Albert St.

Two write-in candidates - Paul Rademacher, 216 Grandview Drive, and John Wohlers, 2225 White Pine Court - are vying for the District 3 aldermanic seat recently vacated by Ronald Troyer.

In District 4, Joanne "Jo" Richie, 404 Seventh St., and Roger Riedel, 306 Knollwood Drive, are seeking the aldermanic seat that James Mayer is giving up in order to run for mayor.

Hudson's last mayoral contest took place in March 1996 when Breault defeated challenger John E. Schommer 961-646.

Breault, 401 Mallalieu Drive, was unopposed the first time he ran for mayor in the spring of 1994. The retired 3M Co. manager served five two-year terms as an alderman before seeking the mayor's office.

Mayer, 609 Sixth St., operates a St. Paul language school. He is the husband of Hudson physician Vicki Mayer.

Mayer won his first term on the City Council by defeating incumbent Bill Knuth 99-71 in the 2002 spring election.

The District 2 race between O'Connell and Miller will be somewhat of a rematch.

In the fall of 2002, the two applied for the seat that was vacated by Joan Christenson after city officials discovered that she didn't live within the boundaries of District 2. The council chose O'Connell over Miller. O'Connell then defeated Leon "Butch" Gary 49-24 in the spring 2003 election to serve out the remainder of the two-year term.

Christenson was appointed to represent District 2 after no one filed as a candidate for the position in the 2002 election.

O'Connell is a Hudson mail carrier. Miller is an information technology specialist for 3M Co.

In Aldermanic District 3, the only person whose name will be on the ballot isn't actually a candidate.

In February, Ronald Troyer resigned from his council seat unexpectedly because of a back injury. He had already filed for reelection, however, and it was too late to take his name off the ballot even though he has said he won't serve another term.

Rademacher and Wohlers stepped forward as write-in candidates for the position.

Rademacher ran against Troyer in the 2002 election, losing 115-74. He has Troyer's endorsement this time around.

The 38-year-old Rademacher is president of the Stonepine Neighborhood Association. He operates a commercial sign company named Sign Me Up out of his home.

Wohlers joined the race two weeks ago. He is a supervisor at the Andersen Corp. door plant in Bayport, Minn.

Wohlers grew up in Stillwater and moved to Hudson with his wife, Michele, and their four school-age sons in 1999. He is a Hudson firefighter and a past board member of the Hudson Hockey Association.

He said he enjoys Hudson's small-town atmosphere.

"It's attractive to all the new people that are moving here," he said of the city. "It's growing. And growth isn't a bad thing, but when it's good for everybody."

Michele Wohlers is a Hudson real estate agent.

Wohlers indicated that holding property taxes in check is one of his concerns. He said he's always enjoyed politics and decided it was time to throw his hat in the ring when the council seat for his neighborhood became vacant.

The District 4 race also features two newcomers to Hudson politics, although Richie served three years on the Cornell City Council. She moved to Hudson 13 years ago and married Hudson native Jeffrey Richie six years ago. They have four grown children between them.

Richie is a registered nurse for St. Paul Radiology. She said she would like to promote better communication between the city and its citizens.

Riedel, Richie's opponent, is a 23-year resident of Hudson. He is the lead systems analyst for the ING Group insurance office in Minneapolis.

Riedel and his wife, Debi, have three children who attend Hudson schools.

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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