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Business owner seeks county board seat once held by his father
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Business owner seeks county board seat once held by his father


Voters in Walworth County Board District 2 are going to the polls Feb. 18 for a primary to narrow the field in a race that includes one incumbent and two challengers.

County Supervisor Bill Norem is seeking re-election in a contest with challengers Joseph H. Schaefer II and Ronald Person to represent the town of Spring Prairie and other areas north of Lake Geneva.

The top two finishers will advance to the April 7 election, where the winner will get a two-year term on county board.

Schaefer, the owner of Ye Olde Hotel Bar & Restaurant, is running for a county board seat once held for many years by his father, Joe Schaefer.

Person, a retired longtime Walworth County sheriff’s deputy and coroner, is making his first bid for elected office.

District 2 includes all or parts of the town of Lafayette, town of Spring Prairie, town of Lyons and town of Troy. It is the only primary in county government Feb. 18, although all 11 county supervisor districts will be on the ballot April 7.

Norem, a retired business owner who is seeking his fifth term in county government, said he is proud to have been involved in making the county debt-free and building new and modern facilities. Now, he said, the county’s elected representatives must focus on updating communication systems, protecting farmland and monitoring air quality.

“We can’t just sit here,” he said of the county’s achievements. “We’ve got to move up to the next level.”

Schaefer, whose family has a long history in county politics, said he hopes to work on keeping taxes down and keeping county government running smoothly.

As the operator of a family-owned business, Schaefer said he has strong connections to the area, and he hopes to work hard to represent the constituents.

Of his family history in politics, he said: “I’m proud of the legacy. There is a pride factor.” Person, who is seeking his first elected office, retired as a lieutenant after more than 30 years as an officer in the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department. He also was appointed county coroner and served in that position briefly.

Person said he wants to get involved in county government to help ensure improvements in county radio systems, infrastructure and oversight of the sheriff’s department.

Although he has retired from the sheriff’s department, Person said he remains close to many in the department.

“I think they’re doing a fine job,” he said. “I would try to help them.”

Name: Bill Norem

Age: N/A

Address: N6451 Cobb Road, town of Lafayette

Employer: Retired business owner

Education: Lake Geneva High School

Family: Wife and two children

Experience: Walworth County Board 1998-2004, 2017-present

Key issue: New communication project, protecting property and value, outdoor air quality, save farm land

Name: Ronald Person

Age: 72

Address: N5827 Oak Creek Drive, town of Lafayette

Employer: Retired county sheriff deputy and coroner

Education: Milton College, bachelor’s degree in criminal justice

Family: Wife and two children

Experience: None

Key issue: Other than military service, I have been working for/with Walworth County most of my adult life, and feel I have more to give.

Name: Joseph H. Schaefer II

Age: 46

Address: 6070 N. Railroad Street, town of Lyons

Employer: Business owner, Ye Olde Hotel Bar & Restaurant and Herbie’s Hangar Doors

Education: University of Wisconsin-Stout, bachelor’s degree, hospitality and tourism

Family: Wife and two children

Experience: None

Key issue: Provide the constituents of District 2 a fourth generation of community service with fresh and efficient representation by keeping budgets fair, balanced and reducing debts.

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