By Jason Rice
Superior voters have chosen Jim Paine to lead the city’s government as Mayor Bruce Hagen steps down.
Paine received 58 percent of the vote compared to city council member Brent Fennessey’s 42 percent. There were a total of 4,907 votes cast in mayor race according to the Superior city clerk’s office.
For the next two years Paine says he’s hoping to be able to tackle a lot of issues and make a positive impact.
“I think they wanted to have a city led with passion and vision and take big, bold steps toward a brighter and better future in the city,” he told Wisconsin Public Radio.
Improving housing opportunities and attracting new businesses to Superior are two themes on which Paine spoke often during the campaign. Now, he says, he has the opportunity to take action.
“This is going to be a very big challenge and a very significant change in direction. I also want to be pursuing development here in downtown. These are things I’m going to be moving forward with - hopefully in the first month or two.”
Paine, 35, earned his undergraduate degree at UWS and currently serves on the Douglas County Board. He was also a challenger to Hagen in the 2015 mayoral race but lost to the incumbent.
Current Mayor Bruce Hagen announced last October his plan to relinquish the post just two years into the term, citing a battle with a terminal illness and personal reasons.
Despite coming in second, it was reported by Wisconsin Public Radio that Brent Fennessey may decide to challenge Paine for the job again in two years. In the meantime, he will continue to represent Superior’s 5th district on the city council.