Sheboygan prepares for mayoral recall primary election

SHEBOYGAN -- A recall election scheduled for Tuesday in Sheboygan is making history. For the first time, voters will head to the polls to decide whether Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan will survive a recall election, or be voted out of office.

The Sheboygan City Clerk's office was flooded with calls Monday. Redistricting is changing the wards for many Sheboygan voters for the first time Tuesday. "This is insanity. I don't know how else to say it. This is total insanity," Sheboygan City Clerk Sue Richards said.

Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan will face a recall election Tuesday with seven challengers. "I'm proud of my record as mayor, and I'm not going into this election overly confident, however, I'm getting a lot of support out there," Mayor Ryan said.

It wasn't necessarily Ryan's record as mayor that fueled the recall effort against him. It was his well-publicized problems with alcoholism and binge drinking. "I can say, the good thing is, with everything that's happened, next week I'll be sober six months and that's a good thing. It's a great feeling," Mayor Ryan said.

Ryan's opponents include an alderman, a financial expert, and an 18-year-old social media enthusiast. If any candidate gets more than 50 percent of Tuesday's vote, he or she wins. If not, the top two vote getters will face off February 21st. Ryan says either way, he's done with the one thing that led him to this recall election.

"I will intende to keep it that way forever, whether I'm mayor or not. I realized I can't drink, and I don't want to, and it doesn't matter if I'm mayor of this city of back working in the private sector. Some people can drink. I'm not one of those people, and I never intend to again," Mayor Ryan said.

The City of Sheboygan usually doesn't oversee the entire election. Usually, the county handles the elections because there are state and county races, but Tuesday, it's only the mayor's race on the ballot, so five people in the City Clerk's office will be inputting the numbers on a spreadsheet and then posting them on the City of Sheboygan's website.