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Incumbent Graven faces Bergman

The towns of Dairyland, Gordon and Wascott in southern Douglas County have a choice to make Tuesday. The area's retired postmaster, Mary Lou Bergman, is challenging the incumbent George Graven to represent Douglas County's southernmost district. ...

The towns of Dairyland, Gordon and Wascott in southern Douglas County have a choice to make Tuesday.

The area's retired postmaster, Mary Lou Bergman, is challenging the incumbent George Graven to represent Douglas County's southernmost district.

Bergman decided to get involved in politics because she felt Graven wasn't active enough in local government.

"I think it's real important that when you're in politics you communicate with the people that you serve," Bergman said during a recent candidate forum. Her husband, Bernie Bergman, has served as chairman of the Wascott town board for six years, and she said she has only missed about six meetings in the last seven years.

Graven, who served on the Gordon town board before he ran for office, said he is actively involved in issues important to the southern end of the county. He serves on the board of directors of the state forestry board, and serves on the county's land conservation, zoning, forestry, Wild River and Gandy Dancer trail, and environment, agriculture and extension committees. For the last dozen years or so, Graven said he's also been active lobbying in Madison for issues important to Douglas County and northern Wisconsin as a Superior Days delegate.

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"The reason I want to stay on the county board is I've learned so much about the area," Graven said. "I know so many people now. I've been involved up here with Superior Days before I was on the board."

Graven joined the county board in 2006 and would be serving his second term if re-elected.

Bergman, a lifelong resident of the Gordon-Wascott area, is hoping voters lend their support so she can work for the people living in southern Douglas County.

"Basically, I just want to help the people out here and make it so people are not afraid to speak up," Bergman said. "Wascott pays the highest taxes in Douglas County, probably getting the least for our tax dollar. There's a lot of concern about that. With the lakes out there, we are concerned about zoning, about invasive species, about protecting our environment.

"I think that I have the capabilities and experience to separate my own personal feelings and my constituents.' When I go to vote on an issue, it really doesn't matter what I think. It's what my people think that counts," she said.

Contact Shelley Nelson at (715) 395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com

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