Chilsen announces write-in campaign - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Chilsen announces write-in campaign

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Onalaska, WI (WXOW) - -

Onalaska voters will not see mayor Joe Chilsen's name on the ballot in April but he will be a candidate.

Chilsen announced Wednesday he will run a write-in campaign.

Last month his opponent, Jack Pogreba challenged his nomination papers, claiming the petitions lacked addresses.

MORE: Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen cut from spring ballot

After reviewing the paperwork, the city clerk found that Chilsen failed to include his address on two of his nominating papers. That voided the signatures on those pages and he fell below the 200 signature requirement to have his name officially appear on the ballot.

MORE: GAB denies Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen's appeal

Wednesday at the Onalaska City Hall Chilsen announced his decision to run, saying over the last four years he's made significant progress in the Onalaska community and he's not ready to give up his job of mayor just yet.     

"I heard loud and clear from people in the community that they wanted a choice and they wanted that choice to be me," Chilsen said. 

Chilsen said over the last couple weeks he's received countless messages, letters, even people stopping him at the grocery store, all asking him to run. Over a dozen community members stood behind him as he announced his write-in campaign.

Chilsen said the community's encouragement shows him that citizens of Onalaska want to continue to move forward in a positive direction.
That includes promoting Onalaska's tourism industry, continuing work on the Waterfront Development project and increasing the city's tax base. 

"It means the world to me. People have come out and told me that they want me to come out and run and it shows today. I am just touched by the support. This is the Onalaska that I love and this is why I love it," Chilsen said. 

One of the biggest challenges Chilsen faces as he runs a write-in campaign is to make sure people know how to vote for a write-in candidate. 

He already has a website up and running, showing people exactly how to do that. 

He plans to get the word out and to make sure the community knows of his campaign.

News 19 reached out to Jack Pogreba and he did not respond.

MORE: Jack Pogreba announces run for Onalaska Mayor

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