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Place is candidate for county board

Ellsworth Police Chief Greg Place is the uncontested candidate for a seat on the Pierce County Board, and there will be a primary election in February for a River Falls seat.

Also as the filing deadline passed last week, contests had developed for three other seats on the 17-member board. A board newcomer is the only candidate for one seat, and only the incumbents are candidates for 11 seats.

Place filed for the Ellsworth seat now held by Pamela Sans, who has served on the board since 2006. Sans did not file for re-election. The seat represents District 12--Wards 1, 2 and 4 of the Village of Ellsworth.

The primary election--which will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19--will trim the number of candidates for District 6 from three to two. In that district, Mike Larson, who has served on the board since 2000, is being challenged by Pat Hagan, 126 S. Fourth St., and Nikki Shonoiki, 124 E. Cascade Ave. Hagan could not be reached by phone Monday. Shonoiki is a UW-River Falls student in marketing and communications.

River Falls District 4 incumbent Ben Plunkett, who has served on the board since 2006, is being challenged by Blake Fry, a special assistant to the UW-River Falls chancellor.

These are the other two contests:

--Incumbent Jerry Kosin, who has served on the board for 10 years, is being challenged by Michael Jones in District 15, which includes Ward 1 of the Town of Oak Grove and Ward 4 of the City of Prescott.

--Incumbent Mel Pittman, who has served on the board since 2004, is being challenged by Daren Edwards in District 17. That district includes the Towns of Maiden Rock and Union, the Villages of Maiden Rock and Plum City, and Ward 2 of the Town of Salem.

James E. Ross is the only candidate for the Spring Valley area seat now held by Kirsten Schilling, who has served on the board since 2002 and is not seeking another term.

Only the incumbents are official candidates for these 11 seats: District 1, Chip Simones, Prescott; District 2, Jim Camery, rural River Falls; District 3, Rich Purdy, rural River Falls; District 5, Paul Barkla, River Falls; District 7, Ron Lockwood, River Falls; District 8, John Kucinski, rural River Falls; District 9, Don Nellessen, Spring Valley area; District 11, Donald Rohl, rural Ellsworth; District 13, Dan Reis, rural Ellsworth; District 14, Bill Gilles, Bay City area; and District 16, Jeff Holst, Hager City area.