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Boles, Loberg survive Pierce judge primary

In the end, Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle's 11th hour trip to Madison to assure his place on the ballot for Pierce County judge didn't pay off.

O'Boyle was by far the low vote-getter in Tuesday's primary. Instead, two private practice lawyers, Joe Boles of River Falls and Bob Loberg of Ellsworth, will face off in the April 6 general election.

Preliminary numbers reported by municipal clerks show Boles received 2,026 votes; Loberg, 1,759; and O'Boyle, 327. Official figures will be posted on Pierce County's website after the Board of Canvassers review election results Feb. 18.

The winner of the April election will succeed Robert Wing, who has been Pierce County judge for 25 years.

Through a change in mail delivery procedures, O'Boyle's nomination paperwork didn't make it to the Wisconsin elections board office by the Jan. 5 filing deadline. But when he traveled to Madison to make his case before the Government Accountability Board later that week, GAB staff changed its recommendation and agreed that O'Boyle's name should be on the ballot.

Pre-primary finance reports filed with the GAB by the three candidates show a range of strategies for financing and conducting their campaigns.

According to the two reports he filed, O'Boyle has spent less than $2,500, all of it his own money.

On the other end of the scale, Loberg spent over $22,500 and has made large personal loans to his campaign.

In the middle in terms of expenditures but on top in terms of outside donations, Boles spent $8,600 and collected campaign contributions of over $9,000.

The statements filed by Boles, Loberg and O'Boyle report on bills paid and contributions received through Jan. 29 -- over two weeks before Tuesday's primary election.

For more, read next week's print edition of the Pierce County Herald.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.

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