The irony was lost on District 2 Candidate Bill Baker, who gave his concessionary comments during an Election Night reception April 6 outside the Barrel Room at Buck & Honey’s while the Kool & the Gang song “Celebrate” was on in the background.
“I'm disappointed, and I blame myself for the results,” said Baker, a Sun Prairie real estate broker who also co-hosted the popular “Good Morning Sun Prairie” radio show on 103.5 FM The Sun until he announced his election run.
Baker lost with a tally of 454 votes, or 39% to incumbent Bob Jokisch’s 751 votes or 61%.
“I did not effectively get my message out to all the people. That message was that your voice is important and it does make a difference,” the challenger said.
Baker said he thought District 2 voters cast their ballots the way they did because people do not see hope.
“I was told in my visits in District 2, that they don't believe that they can make a difference,” Baker said. “They believe that city government acts on its own without consideration of citizen input. The example that was shared with me was the aldermanic survey compared to the Metro BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] service. There was a higher priority placed on the aldermanic districts than there was about spending $200,000 on the bus service.”
Baker said his immediate plans are to get back to work as a real estate agent — something he had to put on hold for three months during his aldermanic run — and return to the radio with his Sun Prairie Real Estate show on the radio Wednesday, April 7, followed by rejoining the KSUN Cable Access TV of Mike Powers and Jamison Rabbitt in the broadcast booth to call the Sun Prairie Cardinals football game at Middleton on Friday, April 9.
“I'll continue to be the number one cheerleader and advocate for Sun Prairie,” Baker said. “I will work on affordable housing with, or without, city involvement, and I'll continue to support the various charities.”
The unsuccessful District 2 aldermanic candidate added one more comment.
“Sun Prairie, you do make a difference, and this is your city. Change only occurs when you step forward and raise your hand,” Baker said.
“There is never a stupid idea or a thought. I want to see contested races for city council and more public involvement for committees. I want to turn the angry negative posts on social media into constructive debate and discussions. Difference is where growth occurs together. We can make a difference, and it starts with the person in the mirror,” Baker concluded. “We are #SunPrairieStrong.”
“I feel very grateful to voters for this opportunity to serve the City of Sun Prairie for another two years,” Jokisch commented.
“It has been a great pleasure to serve this community on city council. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the mayor and members of the city council,” Jokisch added.
“In addition, I hope that people recognize what great staff we have with the City of Sun Prairie. It has been wonderful working with our city staff and I greatly appreciate their hard work and commitment. Finally, I have really enjoyed helping people with their city issues and listening to their comments and concerns on city issues. I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and have worked hard to look for solutions to their problems and study other areas of concern,” Jokisch added.
Jokisch said he believed voters have been listened to, that he works hard to study the issues, and makes decisions that best serve the City of Sun Prairie and its citizens.
“I also work hard to find solutions to their city problems,” Jokisch added. “I have a strong public finance and public policy background and that has served me well on city council. It was nice to see more people outside recently with the nice weather when sharing campaign literature and it was great to have people come up to me and tell me that I was doing a good job. I enjoy serving on city council and I hope people recognize that. It is a real pleasure serving the people of Sun Prairie.”
Jokisch said as COVID-19 is brought more under control that he can talk more directly with constituents.
“I also look forward to having face-to-face City Council meetings,” Jokisch added.
On policy issues, Jokisch said he is looking forward to the Housing Study.
“I am hopeful that the data we collect will help in the development of a Housing Strategy that can be embraced by the community,” Jokisch said. “Beyond that, I am looking forward to serving my constituents, listening to their comments and concerns, and helping them with city issues.”
Jokisch also thanked Baker for his professionalism during the campaign.
“We spoke after the election results came in and we agreed that we had excellent discussions on the issues,” Jokisch said. “While we disagree on a number of issues, we both share the goal of doing what is best for the City of Sun Prairie and its citizens. I enjoyed discussing the important city issues with Bill and he promised to continue speaking out on important city issues.”
District 4 Alder
In a surprise to nobody, District 4 Alder Al Guyant — who previously withdrew from the race — lost to challenger Faustina Bohling.
But because Guyant waited to withdraw, it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.
Bohling captured 772 votes, or 68%, while Guyant received 347 votes, or 31%.
Dane County Executive
With 99% of precincts reporting, incumbent Joe Parisi tallied 79%, or 89,532 votes, to challenger Mary Ann Nicholson’s 21%, or 23,791 votes.
Nicholson, who said publicly she contemplated dropping out of the race after a family tragedy, early in her campaign stated that she wanted the county executive to be more visible around Dane County, especially in rural areas.
Sun Prairie School Board
Incumbent Bryn Horton and challenger Alwyn Foster were elected to the two seats on the Sun Prairie School Board up for election on April 6.
With 100% of precincts reporting, Horton received 36% or 3,974 votes to Foster’s 34% or 3,682 votes, followed by Becky McCright at 29% or 3,203 votes.
“I'm excited that the voters decided to vote for me again. I'm thrilled to be able to serve the community for another three years,” Horton said by email. “I'm also excited to have Alwyn on board with us. It will be nice to have a new face and voice on the board.”
Horton said she hoped district residents have been tuned in to what is happening with the school district “and that they voted for who they thought would represent them the best.”
She also said she intends to continue with work she’s already started on the board.
“In fact we have a secondary boundary and bell time task force meeting Wednesday night,” Horton added. “No rest for me!”
Horton thanked the voters who supported her campaign. “I appreciate the confidence they have in the work that I am doing,” she added.
Foster and McCright did not return comments solicited by email in time for this post on Election Night, but the Sun Prairie Star hopes to include their comments in the Friday, April 9 print edition.
Town of Bristol
Incumbent Bristol Town Chair Jerry Derr survived a challenge from Paul Sanford, capturing 68.8% of the vote, or 678 votes, over Sanford’s 305.
Brian Willison won his challenge from Annie Tremaine by a tally of 530 to 390, or 57 to 42 percent.
Countywide voter turnout
With 99% of precincts reporting in Dane County, roughly 30.3% of registered voters cast ballots in the April 6 election.