Spring election: McCarthy elected mayor of Gillett

Ondik, Ellis, Wranosky win contested County Board races
NEW Media Staff

OCONTO — Interim Gillett Mayor Josh McCarthy can drop the “interim” from his title.

McCarthy, appointed by the City Council after the departure of former Mayor James Beaton in October, earned 63% of the vote in the April 7 election, but – because of a federal court ruling about counting absentee ballots – he had to wait six extra days to learn he received 203 votes to 119 for challenger Jerry Luther.

McCarthy campaigned on a theme of stability, pledging to hang onto the post that has been held by five people since January 2016.

Oconto County Board

The director of Gillett Area Ambulance won an open seat on the Oconto County Board in the April 7 election, defeating a former mayor and alderman for the right to represent parts of the city and town of Gillett.

Tracy S. Ondik earned 227 votes to 100 for Irene Drake, a margin of 69% to 31%, and will succeed Supervisor Richard Nelson, who chose not to run for re-election.

Incumbent Supervisor Mary Ellis, who was appointed to the District 2 seat last spring to fill the unexpired term of the late Darrell Pagel, earned a two-year term, garnering 212 votes to 180 for David Pribyl, a margin of 54% to 46%.

The seat is comprised of the Wards 3 and 4 in the town of Little Suamico.

In a rematch of the close District 7 race in the towns of Chase and Morgan, incumbent Supervisor David Behrend was defeated by Fran Wranosky 197-187.

Ondik and Wranosky will be among just three new faces on the 31-member board. Guy Gooding will represent District 3 (Wards 5 and 6 in Little Suamico), succeeding Supervisor Don Girardi who decided not to run again.

The other 27 supervisors ran for re-election without opposition.

Village of Suring

John Fredenburgh was elected to the Suring Village Board along with incumbent Trustees Randy Schuettpelz and David Kuchenbecker. With voters choosing three trustees, the tally was Fredenburgh 111, Schuettpelz 99, Kuchenbecker 89, Stephanie Lupe 34, Angie Whiting 31.

Stephanie Lupe was elected municipal judge, succeeding Philip Fischer. Lupe earned 84 votes to Jeff Whiting’s 62.

ATVs in Little Suamico

Voters in the town of Little Suamico voted 941-588 in favor of an advisory referendum to allow all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles on town roads.


In the statewide race, incumbent Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly won Oconto County but Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky was selected on the strength of large margins in her home county and Milwaukee. The local tally was Kelly 6,164 (59.7%), Karofsky 4,153 (40.3%), but Karofsky’s statewide total was about 55%.

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Democratic Party primary over Sen. Bernie Sanders and a group of candidates who were on the ballot but no longer campaigning. The Oconto County numbers were Biden 2,922, Sanders 1,000, Michael Bloomberg 58, Elizabeth Warren 44, Tulsi Gabbard 32, Amy Klobuchar 28, Pete Buttigieg 18, Andrew Yang 12, John Delaney 6, Michael Bennet 3, Tom Steyer 2 and Deval Patrick 0. Twenty Democrats voted for an uninstructed delegation.

President Donald Trump was unopposed in the Republican primary. No one in Oconto County voted for registered write-in candidate Adam Nicholas Paul, and local voters gave Trump 6,138 votes to 57 for an uninstructed delegation.

The state constitutional amendment dubbed “Marsy’s Law,” presented as an expansion of crime victims’ rights, passed by a 3-to-1 margin across the state, and Oconto County figures reflected that with 7,611 yes votes to 2,235 no.