GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — We are less than three weeks away from the spring primary elections and this year, four candidates are in the running for Green Bay mayor.
One of those people on the ballot is Incumbent Eric Genrich, who is seeking a second term.
Genrich says he is committed to serving his hometown city for another four years.
"It did take a bit of time in deliberating with my family and friends, and making sure this is the right move," Genrich said.
But his first term in office hasn't come without controversy, most notably regarding elections.
In 2020, Genrich urged the state to postpone the April election over COVID-19 concerns.
Just two of the city's 31 polling places were open for that spring election. A very limited number of people worked the polls, and those voting in person waited for hours in line.
Several other allegations have been tied to Green Bay's handling of elections, but the mayor says the city's elections have been handled by the book.
"There's never been any impropriety suggested or substantiated in association with our elections here in the City of Green Bay," Genrich said.
During Pride Month last year, the city flew the Pride flag outside of City Hall for the first time.
The mayor says if he's elected, he would fly the Pride flag again.
"It's really essential for the mayor of this community to stand up for people that are vulnerable and are threatened," Genrich said. "And flying the Pride flag is such a small token in that regard."
Throughout Genrich's time in office, the city has seen changes and new developments:
- The Green Bay Police Department has a nearly-full staff of officers.
- To help reduce crime, the police department installed license plate readers.
- Efforts are being made to address flooding.
- There is an AmeriCorps program targeting city conservation.
Genrich says his goal is to continue making improvements to public safety, infrastructure, and community development.
"We've made a lot of progress on those fronts," Genrich said. "But there's more to be done."
Mayoral races in Wisconsin are non-partisan, but the latest campaign finance report shows Genrich's campaign has received more than $50,000 from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Genrich formerly served as a Democrat in the State Assembly.
But the mayor says city issues themselves are non-partisan.
"There's no partisan way to pick up garbage or repave a street," Genrich said. "So, I've taken that responsibility very seriously."
In the next three weeks, NBC 26 is offering all mayoral candidates a chance to answer questions about their vision for the city.
The primary election takes place on Feb. 21.
The general election is on April 4.