Green Bay's mayoral race expected to be crowded in 2019

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GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- It only took a few hours for three elected officials to voice their interest in Mayor Jim Schmitt's job after he announced he will not seek re-election.

The three who’ve expressed interest are Green Bay City Council President Tom DeWane, Brown County Supervisor Pat Evans, and State Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay). All three say there's still a lot to think about before making any official decision.

The last time there was an open race for Green Bay mayor was 2003. Four people ran with Schmitt coming out on top.

Four terms later, the open race Schmitt has now created is expected to be even more crowded.

“The one time I ran, that I won the primary, there were seven people in there,” said Evans. “You could have a good six or seven and I think that is healthy.”

Evans lost to Schmitt in 2011. He says he is considering another run based off of feedback from constituents and business owners.

“They're looking for somebody that would be able to continue on with the development that is going ton in Green Bay and also have an understanding of finance,” said Evans.

DeWane is also a former Schmitt opponent. He lost to Evans and Schmittt in the 2011 primary, and lost to Schmitt in the general election in 2015.

Hours after Schmitt’s announcement, DeWane told FOX 11 that he's already been talking about another run with his family.

“It might be time for something new, so it's something I'm evaluating,” said Genrich.

Genrich believes the position of mayor could be a better chance to have an immediate impact on policy for Green Bay, compared to his current role in Madison.

“I love this community,” said Genrich. “I'm committed to public service, so that's something I'm going to be talking about with my friends and my family and my supporters as we enter a new year.”

The mayoral primary is still more than a year away. It's scheduled for February 2019.

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