Politics News

E.C. City Council Incumbents Anderson, Werthmann Among Tuesday’s Winners

voters also approved Chippewa Falls school referendum

V1 Staff |

An Eau Claire polling place. (Volume One file photo)
An Eau Claire polling place. (Volume One file photo)

Incumbents won the only two contested races for seats on the Eau Claire City Council, according to unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election.

With nearly 70% of the votes cast, District 5 incumbent Councilman Andrew Werthmann defeated challenger Mary Catherine Partlow, while District 2 Councilwoman Emily Anderson received 65% of the vote against challenge Brian Trowbridge.

The winners of the other three Eau Claire City Council races faced no opposition: incumbent Jessica Schoen (District 1) and newcomers Aaron Brewster (District 3) and Clara Serrano (District 4). You can see the preliminary vote totals on the Eau Claire County website.

Nonpartisan races were also decided Tuesday across the Chippewa Valley and the state for county boards, school boards, circuit court judgeships, and more.

In the Eau Claire Area School District, two incumbent board members – Joshua Clements and Erica Zerr — were re-elected over challengers Heidi Harings and Kathleen Kivlin. Clements won approximately 30% of the total vote, while Zerr received 29%, Harings 21%, and Kivlin 19%.

Meanwhile, voters in the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School approved a funding referendum on a vote of 4,139 in favor and 3,633 against. The referendum will allow the district to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by $2.5 million per year for each of the next three school years.

Statewide, voters approved two related amendments to the state constitution – one of which prohibited private funding for election administration, the other which says only legally designated officials can perform election tasks. The referendums were placed on the ballot by a vote of the state Legislature’s Republican majority.

Tuesday’s election was also the state’s presidential primary, although the vote was largely symbolic because both major party’s candidates for November are already virtually locked in. In the Republican primary, former President Donald Trump won an estimated 79% of the vote, according to preliminary totals compiled by The Associated Press. His closest rival, Nikki Haley, who suspended her campaign last month, got about 13% of the GOP primary vote.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won about 89% of the vote, with uninstructed delegates netting about 8%. The only other named candidate on the Democratic ballot, Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips*, received about 3% of the vote.

In Eau Claire County, Biden and Trump also won handily, although by about 3 percentage points less than their statewide totals.

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.

*While Phillips – who suspended his campaign in early March – is unlikely to make it to the White House, his candidacy does highlight an interesting bit of Chippewa Valley trivia: Phillips is part of the same Phillips family that has left a major mark on the region, much of it through the philanthropy of L.E. Phillips, CEO of National Presto Industries, who died in 1978. (Yes, the man that Eau Claire’s public library is named after.) L.E. Phillips was the brother of Morton Phillips, the great-grandfather of Dean Phillips. The congressman is also the grandson of onetime Eau Claire resident Pauline Phillips, a.k.a. advice columnist Dear Abby.