NEW BERLIN – When Village of New Berlin voters go to the polls March 15, they’ll see two candidates listed for reelection on the board of trustees – but none for mayor.
That doesn’t mean nobody’s running for the village’s top office, though. In fact, incumbent Mayor Wade Schrag and trustee Terry Potter are both seeking the title as write-in candidates.
Schrag said he completed his petition and handed it in by the deadline Feb. 9, but a review by the village clerk found unregistered voters had signed it, making their names ineligible. The mayor has now launched a write-in campaign to help secure his second, two-year term.
Trustee Terry Potter completed his petition to run again for his board seat, but at the time didn’t have intentions of running for mayor. Potter said this would be his 11th two-year term as trustee, but people have urged him to run for mayor instead. He launched his own write-in campaign just over a week ago.
So while ballots will feature candidates for the two seats on the board – Potter and fellow Trustee Michael Conroe – voters will have to write in their choice for mayor.
“And spelling counts,” said Schrag, who explained misspellings of the candidate’s names would render those votes invalid.
Schrag knows just how important the technicalities can be. During his first mayoral election in 2009, he went against 14-year incumbent Mayor Carol Riley, who launched her own write-in campaign after initially deciding to step down. Schrag won that election by two votes and the village clerk later reported four votes – all cast for Riley – were discounted because voters wrote Riley’s name in the slot meant for trustees. The votes were credited to Riley for trustee, even though she never sought the position.