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Mayoral race on horizon



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December 15, 2005
A race may be shaping up for mayor of the city of Lake Geneva.

Mayor Sheldon Shepstone announced recently he will run in the April election for a second term and welcomed any challengers.

It appears he may get one.

Former alderman Wesley "Pete" Peterson has filed a declaration of candidacy for mayor and took out nomination papers to circulate.

Peterson said Tuesday that he intends to take the next step in the process, which would be to gather at least 50 signatures and return them to the city clerk.

Nomination papers for the April election were available starting Dec. 1. The deadline for filing papers is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Shepstone defeated Charlie Rude 623-330 in the April 6, 2004, election. Prior to that Shepstone served as an alderman for 27 years.

Shepstone, who announced recently he would be running for re-election, already has collected his signatures and submitted them.

Peterson said he plans to run for mayor because there needs to be competition on the ballot in Lake Geneva.

"I am not going to let these positions go unchallenged," he said. "The more people we have in government, the better it is."

Peterson said he hopes more people become involved in the political process in Lake Geneva by running for office in April.

Peterson resigned his alderman position Feb. 18, citing his belief that he could not perform his aldermanic duties because of a plea agreement between him and Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss.

The agreement occurred in October following Peterson's summer of 2004 arrest by the Geneva Lake Law Enforcement Agency for operating a watercraft while intoxicated and refusal to take a breath test.

The drunk boating citation was dismissed as part of the plea agreement, which also stipulated that Peterson not vote on any issue related to the Lake Geneva Police Department or GLLEA.

Koss said the agreement does not restrict Peterson from running for mayor.

Peterson said he doesn't believe the agreement would affect his ability to serve as mayor.

He cited the fact that the city has a Police and Fire Commission which oversees the police and fire departments in the municipality.

"I will vote for whatever is necessary," Peterson said. "The mayor doesn't have to vote."

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