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After serving for 15 years and running unopposed the entire time, Sturtevant municipal Judge Robert Niemiec faces three challengers.

Steve Brown, Kathy Lynaugh and Stuart Ten Cate are all running for the seat, and Wednesday night all four candidates participated in a forum hosted by the Racine Taxpayers Association and Racine County Eye.

Sam Wahlen, president of the RTA, moderated the forum, and RCE Editor Heather Asiyanbi was the timekeeper.

During the hour-long discussion, each candidate was given the opportunity to answer questions that primarily came from the 20 residents who were in the audience.

Some of the questions included:

  • What background do you have that will guarantee you will be an impartial and independent municipal judge?
  • Would you fine a first-time offender for a fireworks violation?
  • If an individual was being charged under a law that you felt was unconstitutional, would you dismiss the case?
  • How would you adjudicate tickets issued to drivers who did not adhere to the rules of the recent snow emergency?

Overall, the candidates said they would follow the law but also understand that the details of each incident are unique so they would take those circumstances into consideration as well.

Lynaugh, who is recovering from surgery, had to withdraw from the forum early.

Voters will head to the polls on Feb. 17 for the primary election, narrowing down the candidates to two. The top two vote-getters will have their names on the ballot for the April 7 general election.