Three incumbents, one newcomer for Beloit City Council.
Obviously, the first question related to the April 7 election in Wisconsin is whether there will be an election at all.
Already there are calls to postpone the election because of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Ohio, for example, decided the best course was to delay its scheduled March 17 election, even as three other states carried on.
Some credible organizations—Common Cause, for one—are urging no in-person voting. How that might work is a head-scratcher. But this much seems clear: The normal way of doing business is not normal anymore. Innovative ways to go forward are needed in many areas, including voting. Democracy must go on, and not become a casualty of a virus. But it doesn’t necessarily have to go on in the same way it has for centuries.
Until big decisions are made, we will continue to assume there will be an election in Wisconsin on April 7. The Beloit Daily News has been interviewing candidates for office, same as always, and we are committed to informing our readers about who is running and what they’re all about. Plenty of content is planned along that order.
Sometimes the paper makes recommendations in select elections, and today let’s look at the race for Beloit City Council. There are four seats to be filled, with six candidates hoping to be chosen.
The six candidates are incumbents Kevin Leavy, Regina Dunkin and Mark Preuschl. The three challengers are Brittany Keyes, Paul Martin and Markese Terrell.
They are all good, solid individuals with community-minded intentions. Beloit is fortunate to have a good field from which to choose.
Here’s our thought. The city, at least prior to the COVID-19 mess, has been in an enviable position with one success building upon another. Most of that has been due to a fired-up private sector, sparking growth across many fronts. Even so, the public sector plays a key support role in helping facilitate growth. City government has managed that part of the task with an efficient, can-do, no-drama style and the results are there for all to see.
For that reason we suggest voters retain incumbents Regina Dunkin, Kevin Leavy and Mark Preuschl.
That leaves one seat to fill and the choices are Keyes, Terrell and Martin.
We recommend Keyes.
A physical therapist, she is a highly educated professional and deeply engaged in a variety of community efforts. She demonstrates sound research skills and a thoughtful attitude. And she’s not shy about speaking up, a needed attribute on a council heavy with incumbents who can benefit from a new voice unafraid to challenge the status quo.
Martin and Terrell are good candidates as well, with deep roots in the community and a history of working to make Beloit better. Martin is a retired Beloit firefighter who served citizens well. Terrell is a young man with a strong record of mentoring at-risk youth and volunteering in various efforts. If voters choose either or both of them, Beloit would not be poorly served.
Still, the three incumbents and Keyes provide the best argument for continuing the community’s long winning streak—and weathering the current crisis, which likely will go on for some time. We recommend their election on April 7 … or whenever.