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Stoughton City Hall.

Earlier this fall, the spring election season hadn't officially kicked off yet and the City of Stoughton mayoral race was already contested.

One of the most notable races this spring will be between incumbent Tim Swadley and challenger Sharon Mason-Boersma as they vie for the top seat in City of Stoughton government. Swadley will be running for his second four-year term after winning in 2018 as former mayor Donna Olson declined to run again. Mason-Boersma, a retired social worker and a board member of several Stoughton community service organizations, would be a newcomer to elected public office, but has been adjacent to it for years as her husband Sid left the Common Council earlier this year.

In addition to the mayoral post, there is one three-year aldermanic seat up for grabs from each district in the spring election, which will take place on Tuesday, April 5.

For the Stoughton Area School District seats, there will be three at-large seats currently held by vice president Jill Patterson, treasurer Joe Freye and clerk Yolibeth Rangel-FitzGibbon up for re-election. 

To get on the ballot for the school board, candidates must file a campaign registration statement and a declaration of candidacy form to the district administrative office no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4. Nomination papers are not required for school board candidates.

Slight changes will occur for county board seats, where the greater Stoughton area will have one less seat representing it come April. Seat 36, which previously covered the parts of Pleasant Springs, will no longer be south of the Town of Cottage Grove border. Seat 35, which used to not cover all of the City of Stoughton, will now encompass it and add on pieces of Dunkirk and Pleasant Springs. Seat 34 will stay as all of Town of Dunn and Village of McFarland.

There will be at least one new person on the county board representing the Stoughton area, as District 35 incumbent Carl Chenoweth has filed non-candidacy paperwork. Michael Engelberger, a former City of Stoughton alder, has already filed to run for the seat. District 34 and 37 incumbents, Patrick Miles and Kate McGinnity, respectively, have also started their re-election paperwork with the county.

There are four documents that a person is required to fill out when seeking candidacy for the Dane County executive: a Campaign Finance Registration statement form that should be filled out prior to announcing intentions to run; a Declaration of Candidacy form; nomination papers that should include between 50-200 signatures from the district of candidacy; and a completed Statement of Economic Interest describing what organizations a candidate’s immediate family members are involved with, where their income comes from and what real estate is owned.

All materials must be turned in to the Dane County clerk by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

If there are more than two candidates running for a single district, a primary election will be held to narrow the field on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Incumbents in all local offices have until the last week of December to formally declare their intent to not run.

For most local and county governmental bodies, the first day aspiring candidates can start circulating nomination papers and collecting signatures is Sunday, Dec. 1. Each race has a different number of qualified signatures a candidate must collect to get their name on the ballot, and most nominations must be fully completed and turned in to each respective organization clerk or agency by the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Nomination papers that are circulated prior to Dec. 1 will not be counted toward a candidate’s total number of signatures.

Candidates must file a campaign finance registration form prior to collecting signatures on nomination papers for their respective jurisdiction; otherwise, the District Attorney would have the right to file a complaint for campaigning without being registered.

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