Nate Zimdars is the only Democrat seeking the 41st State Assembly seat being vacated by Joan Ballweg.

Hey, who knew this was such a popular job? This week, three additional people announced that they are running for the 41st State Assembly seat being vacated by Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan). Ballweg is now running for the 14th State Senate seat being vacated by Luther Olsen (R-Ripon).

Previously, Ripon’s Nate Zimdars, a Democrat, and two Republicans, Allex Dallman, Green Lake, and Nate Barber, Ripon, announced that they too want to succeed in Ballweg.

But this week, things got a bit more interesting as two more Republicans and an independent decided to join the crowd. 

The biggest surprise: former Ripon Mayor Gary Will. Will just completed his fifth two-year term as the top elected official in Ripon. He declined to seek a sixth term this spring and most observers thought that was it for Will. Obviously not. 

Also announcing for the position was Luke Dreske, a Ripon College junior who has been active in on-campus politics. He is president of the Ripon College Republicans and president of the school’s student senate. Dreske is a native of Berlin.

The third new face in the fight for the trip to Madison is Jean Bartz of Wisconsin Dells. She is running as an independent. 

Will, Barber, Dreske, and Dallman will face off in a primary election on Aug. 11. The winner of the primary will advance to face Zimdars on Nov. 3, if Zimdars remains the only Democrat to indicate an interest in the position. Bartz, because she is running as an independent will also be on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The winner of the Nov. 3 election receives a $52,999 annual salary.


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