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RACINE — Racine Mayor Cory Mason formally kicked off his re-election campaign last week touting the city’s recent accomplishments and emphasizing his vision of inclusion for all residents.

“I’m really excited about the work we’ve been doing,” he told supporters who crowded into Littleport Brewing Co., 214 Third St. “In the last five years, we’ve seen more new economic development and construction in new housing than we’ve seen in the previous 20 (years). That takes hard work and I’m thrilled to have a team of people around me.”

Mason, 49, who is seeking a second four-year term in the Spring 2023 election, stressed his commitment to an equitable community.

Racine Mayor Cory Mason speaks to supporters at his reelection campaign kickoff event Nov. 21 at Littleport Brewing, 214 Third St. – Credit: Paul Holley

“Whether you’re from the LGBT community or whether you’re from communities of color, we want to make sure that everybody can grow and succeed, regardless of your background and regardless of your challenges.

We want to commit to everyone, loud and clear, that this is a community that doesn’t give up on anybody. And, if you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules and take the opportunities that are presented to you, that you can succeed.”

Mayor Cory Mason

Mason said he was especially gratified by the initial success of city-supported programs that help residents earn high school equivalency certifications and gain skills in the construction trades.

“There are few things as wonderful as going to an adult high school graduation ceremony,” he said. “These people have done it for themselves.”

Mason also noted that after several years of chronically high unemployment rates, the City of Racine has seen employment levels increase among residents. The ongoing challenge is making sure that people have the skills that employers need.

“There is no doubt that with the hard work – and the energy of the people in this room – that we’ll build a stronger community together,” he said.

Show of support for Mason

Although the Racine mayor’s position is officially nonpartisan, Mason’s campaign event was heavily attended by local Democratic Party members and long-time activists. Mason represented Racine as a Democrat in the Wisconsin State Assembly for about a decade.

The mayor was introduced by Rep. Tip McGuire, a Kenosha Democrat whose State Assembly district includes parts of the city’s south side. McGuire was handily re-elected to another two-year term on Nov 8.

“A key question is: what have you done for me lately? For Mayor Cory Mason, it’s a lot,” said McGuire. “For his vision to be completed, he needs four more years.”

Tip McGuire speaks at Mason event
Rep. Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha, introduces Racine Mayor Cory Mason at the mayor’s campaign kickoff event. McGuire’s State Assembly district includes part of the city’s south side. – Credit: Paul Holley

The mayor’s kickoff event also demonstrated support from several fellow local elected officials. Among the event’s listed co-sponsors were: McGuire, State Sen. Robert Wirch, State Rep. Greta Neubauer, Racine Common Council members Maurice Horton, Terry McCarthy, Alicia Jarrett, Sam Peete, Amanda Paffrath, Natalia Taft, Marcus West, and Racine County Board members Natalie Chuluw and Tom Rutkowski.

Mason was first elected in a 2017 special election to complete the unfilled term of John Dickert who resigned. Mason was elected to a full four-year term in April 2019.

Other candidates expected

Mason’s formal announcement potentially puts three candidates into the race for mayor.

Henry Perez, 61, a Common Council member since 2013, announced earlier this month that he’d be a candidate for Racine mayor.

A week ago, Jim DeMatthew, 61, an investment and retirement services specialist, kicked off his mayoral bid at a campaign event.

What’s ahead

The Spring Election will be held. April 4, 2023. Candidates can start circulating nomination papers next Thursday (Dec. 1). The candidates for Racine mayor are required to obtain a minimum of 200 signatures and a maximum of 400 signatures. They have until Jan. 3, 2023, to file the completed paperwork.

A primary election will be scheduled on Feb. 21, 2023, if there are three or more mayoral candidates seeking office. The two candidates receiving the most votes will then proceed to the April 4 general election.


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...