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Little, Shimpach to seek Portage council seat in April

January 3, 2019

Two Portage men are vying to become the youngest member of the Portage Common Council.

Kyle Little, 36, and Eric Shimpach, 26, will square off April 2 for the Portage District 6 Common Council seat, which is being vacated by William Kutzke, who has declared his intention not to run for another three-year term.

Mayor Rick Dodd faces no opposition on the ballot as he seeks a second three-year term, according to Portage City Clerk Marie Moe.

Dodd, a longtime common council member and past president of the council, won a four-way race for the mayor’s seat in 2016. He and then-incumbent Mayor Bill Tierney won a primary election over council members Rita Maass and John Morauski, and Dodd ousted Tierney, garnering 1,383 votes to 1,318 for Tierney.

Besides the mayoral post and the District 6 seat, three other common council seats are up for grabs. In each of those seats, the incumbent is running unopposed.

Former Portage Police Lt. Mark Hahn faces no opposition in his quest to win a second term for the council’s District 2.

Jeff Monfort is alone on the ballot as he seeks another three-year term representing District 5.

Alan Radant, recently appointed to fill the unexpired District 1 council seat — vacated when Mary Hamburg moved out of Portage — is standing for election to complete the remaining one year on the term, Moe said.

This leaves only one contested council race — in District 6, which includes parts of West Pleasant and West Conant streets, and is bounded on the north by West Wisconsin and Charles streets.

Little is vice chairman of the Portage Historic Preservation Commission and president of the Portage Family Skate Park.

In 2014, Shimpach ran for the District 6 seat on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors and lost to incumbent Kirk Konkel by one vote. Konkel died last month.

Kutzke was appointed to the District 6 seat in 2014, after the resignation of council member Michael Oszman. A retired attorney, Kutzke was chosen for the appointment from four applicants. He stood for election in 2015 to complete Oszman’s unexpired term, then won a three-year term in 2016.

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