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Kroner retains seat on board

Solid victory gives him a third term serving Tosa school district

April 3, 2013

Incumbent School Board member Phil Kroner beat a challenge by Carmela Rios in Tuesday's election.

A preliminary vote count had Kroner with 4,186 votes and Rios with 2,963.

Results remain unofficial until certified by a board of canvassers, which met after press deadline.

"This campaign has left me energized and eager to contribute to the future growth of the school district," Kroner said in a statement. It was Kroner's first contested election, and he will be beginning his third three-year term. The positions are unpaid.

It was the only local race in the general election.

City Clerk Carla Ledesma said the turnout was about average for a race of this kind, with no aldermanic seats at stake. In the one city seat up for election, 3rd District Alderman John Dubinski ran unopposed.

Ledesma said voting traffic was healthy in the morning, but may have weakened during the day.

In other races, Wauwatosa voters went with incumbents - and statewide winners - Pat Roggensack over challenger Ed Fallone in the race for the Supreme Court, and incumbent Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers over challenger Don Pridemore. Both won resoundingly among local voters, as they did statewide.

The Kroner-Rios matchup for seat No. 1 featured two experienced educators with advanced degrees, each with a student in the district. Kroner said his experience was key.

"I think important factors in my successful campaign were my efforts in letting people know about the many improvements made in the district during my six-year board tenure, my concern for helping all students learn, my focus on high standards and accountability, and the seriousness with which I approach board service," he said.

Kroner saw his colleagues on the board - board President Michael Meier, Tom Jarosz and Mary Jo Randall - come out in favor of his opponent.

"I think in the long run it helped my campaign," he said of their endorsement of Rios. "It caused me to reflect on my board service, and to then focus on the way I approach my work and the strengths I bring to the board."

"Congratulations to Phil Kroner on winning the election," Rios said in a statement. She indicated she was pleased as a first-time candidate to have earned almost 3,000 votes against a solid incumbent. "Although I lost, the opportunity to run has reinforced my desire to be elected to the School Board. After the great conversations I have had with parents, teachers and residents, I now know more than ever that I can be a valued member of the School Board. Thank you to everyone that voted and supported me throughout the campaign."

Incumbents Michael Meier and Anne Fee held their seats without challenge.

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