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Sheboygan Mayor Ryan to face Van Akkeren in Feb. 21st general election

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SHEBOYGAN -- A recall election scheduled for Tuesday in Sheboygan is making history. For the first time, voters headed to the polls Tuesday to decide whether Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan will survive a recall election, or be voted out of office. The results indicate Ryan will face Terry Van Akkeren February 21st in a general election, as no one candidate got 50 percent of the vote Tuesday night.

Early results began to come in around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday. With 26 of 26 precincts reporting the results are as follows:

  • Bob Ryan: 3225  32.85%
  • Terry Van Akkeren: 2567   26.15%
  • Roberta Filicky-Peneski: 1592    16.25%
  • Randy Schwoerer: 1507    15.35%
  • Erik Neave: 289   2.94%
  • Jean Kittelson: 480   4.89%
  • Mark Hermann: 103  1.05%
  • Asher Heimermann: 38   .39%

The Sheboygan City Clerk says 34.5 percent of total voters came to the polls in this election. Voter turnout was so high in one Sheboygan ward Tuesday, they temporarily ran out of ballots. Instead, they photo copied ballots to allow people to cast their votes.

The Sheboygan City Clerk's office was flooded with calls Monday. Redistricting changed the wards for many Sheboygan voters for the first time Tuesday. "This is insanity. I don't know how else to say it. This is total insanity," Sheboygan City Clerk Sue Richards said.

Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan faced seven challengers in Tuesday's recall primary. "I'm proud of my record as mayor, and I'm not going into this election overly confident, however, I'm getting a lot of support out there," Mayor Ryan said.

It wasn't necessarily Ryan's record as mayor that fueled the recall effort against him. It was his well-publicized problems with alcoholism and binge drinking. "I can say, the good thing is, with everything that's happened, next week I'll be sober six months and that's a good thing. It's a great feeling," Mayor Ryan said.

Ryan's opponents include an alderman, a financial expert, and an 18-year-old social media enthusiast.

Since there will be a general election February 21st after Tuesday's primary, Ryan will remain in office until the February 21st election.

Ryan says whatever happens February 21st, he's done with the one thing that led him to this recall election. "I will intend to keep it that way forever, whether I'm mayor or not. I realized I can't drink, and I don't want to, and it doesn't matter if I'm mayor of this city of back working in the private sector. Some people can drink. I'm not one of those people, and I never intend to again," Mayor Ryan said.