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Ehley, Donegan advance to spring mayoral race

Feb. 22, 2012

The race for Wauwatosa mayor is down to Alderman Peter Donegan and Kathy Ehley, executive director of the Village Business Improvement District.

Businessman John Pokrandt was eliminated from the competition during the primary election Tuesday.

Nearly 21 percent of the city's registered voters turned out for the primary election.

Unofficial results as of Tuesday:

Kathy Ehley 3,079

Peter Donegan 2,366

John Pokrandt 1,033

Results remain unofficial until certified by a Board of Canvassars, which met Wednesday after NOW's deadline.

Ehley, who garnered 47 percent of the vote, credited a history of numerous leadership positions and connections within the city for her success, as well as having met a lot of people while knocking on doors.

"I'm the one candidate that has the proven track record of getting people together to make things happen for the betterment of the community," she said.

Donegan was the second-highest vote-getter with 37 percent of the vote.

He said the election is not necessarily issues-driven, rather it seems to be about the candidates' resumes.

But his biggest concern is the small voter turnout.

"The challenge of this election is just to get people's attention," he said. "Most Wauwatosans just don't care and aren't tuned in."

He would like to see more interest paid to who will take the city's top executive position.

Ehley and Donegan will ramp up their campaigns as they move toward the April 3 general election; both are expecting to walk a lot of the city's streets, stopping at homes and businesses in an effort to meet the voters.

Pokrandt trailed with 16 percent of ballots cast in the election. But he stands behind the way he ran the race and plans to seek office again in the future.

"I believe my campaign did everything we could do and am proud of the dedication of my volunteers and the clean campaign we ran," Pokrandt said.

As he steps back from campaigning, he sees "the priorities of the candidates moving forward are complex."

He foresees a redesign of the road at UW Innovation Park, which some have said is too wide, and working to find a tenant or owner capable of keeping the Rosebud Cinema on North Avenue. It was announced earlier this week that the cinema in East Tosa was expected to close in March, but later reports indicate it will be taken over by Jay Hollis, a former owner.

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