MARINETTE—Oconto small businessman Republican Elijah Behnke handily won the 89th District Assembly partisan primary Tuesday and moves on to face Democrat Karl Jaeger in the April 6 spring election.
Behnke garnered 1,643 (45%) of all votes cast to easily outdistance Michael Kunesh, who had 862 votes (23%). Kunesh, a Marinette native, lives in Appleton but he has a real estate company in Marinette and a second home in the Town of Peshtigo. Behnke owns a cleaning company and he is a hobby farmer.
Other competitors in the Republican field included: Debbie Jacques, Green Bay, 768 votes (21%); Michael Schneider, Suamico, 259 votes (7%); and David J. Kamps, Coleman, 157 votes (4%).
Kunesh narrowly defeated Behnke in Marinette County by a total of 523 to 518 votes, respectively. Jacques had 268, Kamps 83 and Schneider 56.
Jaeger, Town of Peshtigo, received 577 votes from those who voted Democrat. He did not have any competition. Jaeger works as an IT analyst.
In the Town of Peshtigo, incumbent Supervisor 2 Jon Drees, 264 votes, and Lenard Wiedemeier, 185 votes, advanced to the April election. Thomas Gromala had 76 votes and was eliminated.
Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr advanced in the race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Underly had 88,703 votes (27%) and Kerr had 86,0452 (26%).
Others on the ballot were: Sheila Briggs, 50,741 votes (16%); Shandowlyon Shawn Hendricks-Williams, 36,829 votes (11%); Troy Gunderson, 27,422 votes (8%); Steve Krull, 20,518 (6%); and Joe Fenrick, 14,504 (4%).
Kerr won in Marinette County with 928 votes and Underly was second with 494 votes.