Wausau's mayor launches re-election campaign

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke announced at City Hall Monday that he will run for re-election in 2020.

Mayor Mielke said he has made Wausau a more positive, peaceful and progressive city during his time as mayor and he wants to continue those improvements.

"I have an excellent relationship with the city council in general, and city staff-- we're moving forward in the right direction,” Mielke said.

The mayor wants to continue investing in land development, like the riverfront and mall, to attract businesses to the area.

"Businesses are coming here-- we're marketing Wausau to those business professionals and residents,” he said.

Two other candidates announced their candidacy earlier this year, local activist Christopher Norfleet and Marathon County Board Supervisor Katie Rosenberg.

Rosenberg said in a statement that the people of Wausau want “more than a cheerleader.”

She raised concerns that "city debt is projected to increase 300% from only 5 years ago, Wausau’s credit rating remains downgraded. City leaders are taking out longer-term bonds that not only take longer to pay back, but involve more taxpayer dollars going to interest payments,” she said.

Wausau’s credit rating was downgraded in 2017, and remains downgraded in a report by Moody’s Investor’s Service released last week.

“That's not progressive. That's not setting up Wausau for long term success," she said.

Asked about his challengers, Mielke said he is confident in his record.

"I like them. We've always gotten along, we'll see what happens," Mielke said.

Christopher Norfleet could not be reached for a comment Monday.

The election will take place on April 7, 2020.