Gillett school referendum passes; Oconto County backs GOP

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Warren Bluhm,

A sign points the way to the polling area at Oconto Falls City Hall on Tuesday. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The third time was a charm for the Gillett School District.

After back-to-back failed referendums in 2016, the school board went back to the drawing board, conducting a survey of district residents to gauge their support before coming back for another vote.

This time, about 54 percent of district voters gave their approval to exceeding state-imposed revenue limits by $600,000 annually for three years. The unofficial final tally was 1,012 yes, 864 no.

Most of the winning margin came from the large portion of the school district in Oconto County, which voted 902-758 yes. In the small part of Shawano County that goes to Gillett schools, the ayes had it by just four votes, 110-106.

Oconto County was a “red” county, voting comfortable margins in favor of every Republican on the ballot, including ones who did not prevail statewide.

Tony Evers was declared the winner as the final votes were being tallied, but incumbent Gov. Scott Walker won Oconto County nearly 2-to-1, 11,493 to 5,857. Similarly, Leah Vukmir picked up 60 percent of the Oconto County vote but incumbent U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin was re-elected.

Incumbent Assembly Reps. Jeff Mursau, John Nygren and Gary Tauchen, all Republicans, were re-elected over their Democratic opponents

Mursau, R-Crivitz, defeated Tim Comer of Niagara by a margin of 16,643 to 8,230. County by county:

Oconto – Mursau 6,862, Comer 2,994
Marinette – Mursau 6,128, Comer 2,585
Forest – Mursau 1,396, Comer 933
Shawano – Mursau 1,109, Comer 490
Langlade – Mursau 877, Comer 421
Menominee – Comer 807, Mursau 271

Nygren, R-Marinette, defeated Ken Holdorf by a tally of 17,091 to 8,459. County by county:

Oconto – Nygren 5,107, Holdorf 2,269
Marinette – Nygren 5,643, Holdorf 2,867
Brown – Nygren 6,431, Holdorf 3,323