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Mullenberg off village board ballot

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There will be one less candidate on the ballot this April.

Gerald Mullenberg, incumbent trustee on the Somerset Village Board, has been disqualified due to insufficient paperwork.

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"All candidates will be on the ballot, except Gerald Mullenberg because on the back page on the top, he did not fill it our prior to being circulated," said village clerk Pam Donohoe.

The paperwork in question requires the candidate to fill out his name, address, municipality, type of election, election date, title of office, branch/district/seat number and jurisdiction/district in which the candidate seeks office. This information is at the top of the page, followed by spaces for ten people to sign their support. The candidate signs each sheet to certify that he personally circulated the nomination paper and obtained each signature.

This deficiency, along with a couple of others, was brought to light by Lauren Stephens, candidate for village president. She noticed the discrepancies when she asked for all the candidates' paperwork last week, and filed a formal challenge Friday, Jan. 9.

Donohoe had said she consulted the village attorney and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board before making the decision to remove Mullenberg from the ballot.

"This entire situation is unfortunate because it was completely avoidable," Stephens said. "Even when living amongst the charm and friendliness of a small town, we still must remember holding public office or being a public official carries with it a huge responsibility to all, not just a select few. I am satisfied with Ms. Donohoe's decision. I am sure it wasn't easy. I just want to put this to rest and get on with my campaign and the more positive things about our community."

Mullenberg could not be reached for comment.

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