FOCUS Examines Implications of Tight Marshfield Mayoral Race
OnFocus – During Tuesday’s primary election, 1823 citizens in Marshfield cast their vote for a mayoral candidate. Three candidates – Bob McManus, Rebecca Spiros, and Tom Witzel – were on the ballot, with McManus and Witzel progressing to the general election in April.
McManus won the primary with 632 votes – just two more than Witzel’s 630 votes. With Spiros in a close third with 561 votes, there is a clear divide in the community on which candidate is best fit to lead Marshfield through the next two years. (source: Wood County | Marathon County | Results are unofficial until the canvass is complete on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.)
“The divided vote was very interesting,” said McManus. “The other candidates being on the Common Council had a distinct advantage in their districts. However, my message of fiscal responsibility, my background as a businessman and Banker, and clear communication skills and ability to listen to the citizens was considered new and landed me at the top of the ticket in the primary. I will continue to reach out to more and more citizens and hear their concerns.”
Despite two candidate forums, and multiple print and television interviews held within a short four-week span leading up to the primary, none of the candidates were able to capture a significant majority of votes.
With their candidate no longer in the running, Spiros’ supporters are expected to be examining both remaining candidates to determine for whom to place their vote in the spring.
“Part of Rebecca Spiros’ platform was controlling costs and cost overruns. I always appreciated Rebecca’s perspective,” said McManus. “I believe her voters have a clear choice. They can choose to keep things the way they are or they can choose to vote for change and a common sense approach to finances and responsible growth.”
Marshfield’s next leader will need to address subjects such as capital improvements, city communications, debt management, and employee tensions, as well as foster a better relationship with school district and county officials.
With the vote fragmented, moving forward the candidates will have to face several challenging questions, as well as outline plans for improving infrastructure, city communications, and reducing the city debt. The election results from the 2018 Spring primary indicate that the City has yet to find a leader who can speak to a vision, outline an action plan, and motivate the majority of the community to vote for them.
“I’m really not concerned with my opponent. I’m more concerned with listening to the voters values and beliefs,” said McManus. “The citizens of Marshfield have made it clear that they want responsible use of our tax dollars, something to finally be done about the roads, good economic development with a vibrant downtown, transportation for our seniors to be improved, and a Mayor who will be in communication with the Citizens and listen to their concerns.”
“I will continue to be accessible to Citizens and talking with them at their doors, through forums, and several upcoming events,” he added. “For up-to-date information on upcoming events, they will be posted on my Facebook page ‘Bob McManus for Mayor‘.”
The general election is April 3. Check out our election headquarters here.
At the time of this publication, candidate Tom Witzel has not responded to our questionnaire.