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RACINE — A coalition of community organizations is sponsoring Racine’s first mayoral candidate forum on Thursday, Feb. 2. The event runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Ave.

The forum, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Racine Interfaith Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 320, LULAC Council 339, Hispanic Roundtable of Racine and Amigos de Cesar Chavez Community Center.

All three of the City of Racine mayoral candidates, who will be on the Feb. 21 primary election ballot, have been invited – Mayor Cory Mason (incumbent), Jim DeMatthew and Henry Perez. A Spanish language interpreter will be available that evening. Forum organizers are also giving the candidates an opportunity to answer questions electronically if they are unable to participate in person.

For questions about the Racine mayoral candidate forum, call 262-635-9532.

About the election

City of Racine voters will elect a mayor to a four-year term in the Spring General Election scheduled for Tuesday, April 4. Prior to that, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 21 to whittle down the number of candidates from the present three to two. The two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary election, will advance to the general election. 

The Racine mayoral candidates:

Racine Mayoral candidate, State of the City Mayor Cory Mason
Mayor Cory Mason – Credit: City of Racine

Mayor Cory Mason, 50, is seeking a second full term. He was first elected in a 2017 special election and to a full term in the 2019 Spring Election, defeating former Racine Common Council member Sandy Weidner in both elections. Prior to serving as mayor, Mason, a Democrat, represented parts of the city and Eastern Racine County in the Wisconsin State Assembly for a decade.

Jim DeMatthew announces mayoral bid
Jim DeMatthew – Credit: Denise Lockwood

Jim DeMatthew, 61, is a Racine financial services professional. He previously worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration. He has been a member of the Racine Civic Center Commission, the City of Racine Redevelopment Authority and the Racine Zoo Board. He has also been active with Italian Fest and the St. Catherine’s High School Foundation Board. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for State Assembly in 2010.

Alder Henry Perez
Alder Henry Perez – Credit: Loren Lamoreaux

Henry Perez, 61, has been a Racine Common Council member since 2013 representing the 12th District. He is a former church pastor and currently works in special education at  a Racine school. He teaches gun safety courses, is a certified active-shooter training instructor and has worked as a security guard. Prior to moving to Racine, he was a police officer in Miami, Fla. Perez simultaneously ran for the Racine County Board and the Racine Common Council in April 2022. He was re-elected to the council, with no opposition, but lost his county board bid to the incumbent, Eric Hopkins.

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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:...