Candidates for two seats on the Racine Unified Board of Education will face a primary next month, and one seat is unopposed, according to nomination papers filed Tuesday with the district.

Districts six and seven have four and three candidates, respectively. John Heckenlively, Ernest Ni’A, Jim Venturini, Bryn Biemeck will face off in District 6 while incumbent Don Nielsen, Adrienne Moore, and Brian O’Connell are vying for the District 7 seat.

This is the first election using newly drawn district maps required by a state law signed last summer by Gov. Scott Walker.

New districts with assigned seats are required after a state law went into effect with the new biennial budget that Republican lawmakers say gives residents in Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant a voice on the Board of Education. The move is widely considered a measure to appease folks living in the villages who are pushing for an independent school district or districts.

District 1 – which includes the Village of Sturtevant, some of the Village of Mount Pleasant and a small portion of the City of Racine – will be represented by Sturtevant resident Michelle Duchow unless there is a successful write-in candidate because she is running unopposed. Duchow is also running for Sturtevant trustee.

Six current board members will face each other in three district races:

  • Dennis Wiser and John Koetz (District 2)
  • Mike Frontier and Pamela Handrow (District 3)
  • Kim Plache and Julie McKenna (District 4)

Neither Board President Melvin Hargrove nor Charles Goodremote will face another BOE incumbent, but they both have challengers. Matthew Hanser is running against Hargrove, and Steven Hooper is running against Goodremote.

Voters in District 9 will choose between Robert Wittke, Jr. and Kurt Squire.

The primary election is Feb. 16, and the general election is April 5.

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