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Meet the candidates running for Marathon County District 5 supervisor in the April 2 election

Meet the candidates running for Marathon County District 5 supervisor in the April 2 election
Incumbent Gary Gisselman will face challenger Orlando Alfonso for the District 5 seat on the Marathon County Board in the April 2 election.

Marathon County supervisors serve two-year terms. All 38 Marathon County Board seats are up for election this spring.

To learn more about registering to vote and to find your polling place, visit My Vote Wisconsin.

The Wausau Daily Herald asked each of the candidates to address important issues in the county and why they are running for the position.

Orlando Alfonso

Orlando Alfonso
Orlando Alfonso

Age: 66

Residence: Wausau

Occupation and education: Retired; attended St. Norbert College and Loyola University Chicago

Relevant experience: I have 22 years in the financial industry in Chicago. I owned and operated the derivatives market making firm Copper Trading, an eight-employee company based out of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. I sold to Goldman Sachs in 2001. More recently, with the help of the board of directors, I started, designed and operated the St. Vincent de Paul store on Thomas Street. I understand organizations from financial and operational perspectives.

Campaign website/Facebook page:

Gary Gisselman

Gary GisselmanGary Gisselman

Gary Gisselman

Age: 81

Residence: Wausau

Occupation and education: Retired. I have a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, master’s degree in history from UW-Oshkosh and master’s degree in library science from UW-Madison.

Relevant experience: Served on the Wausau City Council 2006-2020 and 2022 to present. Served on the Marathon County Board 2006-2014 and 2022 to present.

Why are you running for office?

Alfonso: I am retired now and have the time and energy to give back to our county. Also, I have been approached by residents who would like to see continued the fiscally sound path that the county has maintained. I am also running for Wausau City Council. I hope to be an effective bridge between the two. My biggest concern for the county is a declining Wausau. I hope to be able to change course there and to keep the county from making similar mistakes.

Gisselman: I believe my past experience on the Marathon County Board and service on the Marathon County Park Commission and now on the Infrastructure Committee gave me an added perspective on the running of Marathon County. I wish to continue to serve the residents of Marathon County.

What are residents telling you are their most important issues, and how would you address them?

Alfonso: They would like to see some tax cuts. They would like to see the Wheel Tax, that was supposed to be temporary, gone. The county has plenty of money in the road fund and other funds that should be returned to the taxpayers. We are fiscally sound and we missed an opportunity to reduce the levy last fall. We should have passed Dave Baker’s amendment and returned some money to the taxpayers.

Gisselman: I get compliments on the very well-maintained Marathon County Park System. I will continue to support a strong park system. And always a due diligence with taxes.

What makes Marathon County a destination for visitors and new residents and how would you continue to make attracting people to the community a priority if you are elected to the County Board?

Alfonso: Marathon County has natural advantages: Its central Wisconsin location, its medical “Mecca,” its natural beauty and the recreation it provides. I would keep the county fiscally strong and avoid Wausau’s problems. If elected to both offices, I would help Wausau emulate the county’s fiscal success.

Gisselman: Our park system is a great asset to our county. The parks are a great destination unto themselves. We should promote and given an opportunity make them better.

Which parts of the county’s strategic plan would you prioritize or work to revise?

Alfonso: I would just make sure that all the goals the county wants to achieve are fiscally sound, that all programs be scrutinized for cost benefits. In particular, I would like to work with Wausau and Police Chief Matt Barnes on the homeless and mental health issues. They affect Wausau, but it is a county responsibility as well.

Gisselman: I have had no direct involvement with the strategic plan. I trust the executive committee to deal with the strategic plan.

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Erik Pfantz covers local government and education in central Wisconsin for USA-TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin and values his background as a rural Wisconsinite. Reach him at or connect with him on X (formerly Twitter) @ErikPfantz.

This article originally appeared on Wausau Daily Herald: April 2024 election: Marathon County Board District 5 candidates

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