After winning a spring election, Michael Bloom has left his job as Oneida County district attorney to take a seat on the bench. That leaves the D.A. race wide open. Three men are hoping they'll be the one to fill the vacant position.
The first candidate is Republican Mike Fugle. The 45-year-old and father of five is currently assistant corporation council for Oneida County. Born and raised in Minneapolis, he graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha.
"Majored in philosophy, minored in German,” Fugle said. “And people always said, what are you going to do with that. I said I'm going to be a ski bum. And so I moved to Winter Park. And I was, skied 130 days a year. Worked at the Vintage Hotel. Eventually promoted from front desk clerk to general manager. Ultimately I then decided that wasn't the career path for me. So I went to law school. Worked for a law firm in Milwaukee doing criminal defense work."
NC7: How does your experience make you the best candidate?
Fugle: “I understand criminal defense, so I understand that aspect. Also, in the last four years, I've been prosecuting cases. So I do understand how to build a case. So I think in this race, I have the unique perspective of someone who both understands building a case for prosecuting and in terms of understanding what a defense may or may not be."
The second candidate is Republican Mike Schiek. When he's not practicing law, he's busy raising his 2-year-old daughter, Emily. The 41-year-old graduated from Rhinelander High School and then went to college at UW-Milwaukee.
"I joined the military and served in the United States Marine Corps for four years,” Schiek said. “And then honorably discharged. Attended Hamline Law School over in Minneapolis. And then after that, came here to work for O'melia, Schiek & McEldowney since 2002. And I've been practicing criminal defense over the last 10 years.”
NC7: How will you help the people of Oneida County as district attorney?
Schiek: "I want to keep this a safe community. I have a vested interest in wanting to raise my family here and keep it safe. It's a great area for tourists to come and I want it to maintain a good reputation for people to come up and visit, be safe, enjoy their vacation and time as tourists. And the people who live here locally, if they are victims of crimes, they can come here and talk to the district attorney's office."
The third candidate is Democrat Scott Moller. The 46-year-old and father to two daughters calls himself a career prosecutor. He graduated from UW-Madison Law School and now works as an assistant district attorney for Langlade and Oneida Counties.
"The work that I do everyday is seeking justice, holding criminals responsible for their crimes and helping victims is the work of an assistant district attorney and it's the work of the district attorney,” Moller said. “I've been doing this work for 14 years. So I have extensive experience doing the job that I'm seeking to do."
NC7: What does it take to be a good district attorney?
Moller: "It takes training, it takes commitment to the job. It takes understanding of how important this work is. I think it takes good relationships, working relationships with law enforcement and criminal defense attorneys, and victims and the public in general."
As the lone Democrat, Moller is running unopposed in the primary. Schiek and Fugle are running against each other as Republicans in the Aug. 14 primary. The winner of that race will then square off against Moller in the general election on November 6.