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Stegall wins county sheriff's GOP primary
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The stage has been set for a November showdown in a race for Langlade County Sheriff.

In Tuesday’s primary which featured two Republican candidates for the position, Joe Stegall of Bryant defeated Sam Wurtinger of Antigo on a tally of 728 to 486.

Stegall, a corrections officer within the Langlade County Jail, will now meet up with Democratic incumbent Sheriff Bill Greening in the Nov. 4 election.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support,” Stegall said this morning. “It’s humbling to be in this position.”

The corrections officer said that he is looking forward to the fall campaign.

“I’m ready for November,” he said. “We’re going to work hard at it. I want to earn the trust of the community and be available to the people of Langlade County.”

Wurtinger, a deputy with the Forest County Sheriff’s Department, said he was surprised by the low voter turnout.

“Although I appreciate the support received in the community, I am disappointed in the low voter turnout in a race that has such an impact on Langlade County,” Wurtinger said.

A White Lake native and 1982 graduate of high school there, the married father of five and grandfather to four has been a corrections officer in the Langlade County Jail since 2004. He also recently became a business owner, returning to his history in the timber industry by opening a small time logging operation.

It’s a mix which Stegall said suits him well, affording him ample opportunities and experiences within both the public and private sector. And it is those which he cites have prepared him for a good candidate for the job.

“As a business owner, you are the boss,” Stegall said, tracing the responsibilities which come with overseeing employees, working within financial boundaries including setting and sticking to budgets and ensuring that things are done properly, and when not, implementing changes for the better.

Prior to forming his business in 2010, Stegall was self-employed in the logging industry for 18 years, carrying on a family tradition which began with his father.

He graduated from the Correctional Training Center at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2001. The program, overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, provides training in supervision of individuals who are incarcerated as well as ensuring the safety of inmates and jail employees.

Stegall was hired in 2001 at the Racine Correctional Institution and remained at the facility for a short time before taking on employment at Wisconsin’s oldest prison, the Waupun Correctional Institution. He returned to the local job force in 2004 when he was hired as a full-time corrections officer at the jail.

It’s an occupation, Stegall said, which is an amalgamation of professions — nurse, psychologist, referee, janitor, security guard — and much of the time, in stressful and potentially dangerous situations.

“We do what’s necessary to keep the place running,” Stegall said.

In his bid for sheriff, Stegall said his reasoning to run was simple.

“I am not a politician but I am a people person and I believe there has been a ‘disconnect’ between the sheriff’s department and the community,” he said.

If elected, he said he would be a more ‘hands-on’ person, attending to the concerns of both the public and the sheriff’s department personnel.

“I would oversee everything, not micro-manage, but want to know what’s going on,” he said. “I will work hard and do what needs to be done.”

Unofficial results suggest that Stegall was especially strong in eastern Langlade County, with the two candidates splitting the city and other rural precincts.

The tally includes:

—Rolling: Wurtinger, 29; Stegall, 35.

—Summit: Wurtinger, 5; Stegall, 4.

—Upham: Wurtinger, 31; Stegall, 20.

—Vilas: Wurtinger, 5; Stegall, 6.

—Wolf River: Wurtinger, 11; Stegall, 101.

—Village of White Lake: Wurtinger, 5; Stegall, 52.

—Antigo Ward 1: Wurtinger, 13; Stegall, 24.

—Antigo Ward 2: Wurtinger, 28; Stegall, 14.

—Antigo Ward 3: Wurtinger, 23; Stegall, 12.

—Antigo Ward 4: Wurtinger, 16; Stegall, 18.

—Antigo Ward 5: Wurtinger, 13; Stegall, 13.

—Antigo Ward 6: Wurtinger, 17; Stegall, 8.

—Antigo Ward 7: Wurtinger, 22; Stegall, 30.

—Antigo Ward 8: Wurtinger, 22; Stegall, 20.

—Antigo Ward 9: Wurtinger, 17; Stegall, 20.

—Ackley: Wurtinger, 19; Stegall, 14.

—Ainsworth: Wurtinger, 10; Stegall, 16.

—Town of Antigo: Wurtinger, 48; Stegall, 30.

—Elcho: Wurtinger, 36; Stegall, 31.

—Evergreen: Wurtinger, 11; Stegall, 103.

—Langlade: Wurtinger, 10; Stegall, 29.

—Neva: Wurtinger, 24; Stegall, 29.

—Norwood: Wurtinger, 14; Stegall, 20.

—Parrish: Wurtinger, 0; Stegall, 4.

—Peck: Wurtinger, 21; Stegall, 6.

—Polar: Wurtinger, 31; Stegall, 62.

—Price: Wurtinger, 5; Stegall, 7.


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JOE STEGALL
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ANTIGO DAILY
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Mail to: Fred Berner
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