Do not mess with those teetotalers in Sheboygan. Wisconsinites are armed with the power of electoral recall, and they've shown this election cycle that they're not afraid to use it.
For the first time in the city's history, Sheboygan, Wisconsin has voted to recall their mayor by a margin of 53% to 47% (unofficial). Former State Representative Terry Van Akkeren will succeed embattled mayor Bob Ryan as the city's chief executive.
Ryan, a confessed alcoholic, was reflective about the recall. He claims it has made him a better man, though he points out that he thinks it's unfair that a personal issue like alcohol addiction cost him his job.
“People can get sober and do their jobs at the same time,” said Ryan. "You folks in the media, and people in general, when people have personal issues--when people have personal issues they need to deal with, they shouldn't be ostracized."
Recall organizers began beating the warm drums against Ryan after the former governor confessed to a three-day drinking bender at Elhkart Lake. Ryan insists that he has been sober ever since, according to Fox 11 Online.
The recall election counts as Van Akkeren's fourth run for Sheboygan mayor. His most recent bid was in 2009 when he lost to Ryan. As Sheboygan law dictates, Van Akkeren will serve out the remainder of Ryan's term and then have to run for the seat himself. He is scheduled to take over March 5th.
For his part, Ryan indicated that he has no intention of wading back into local politics, saying of his brief stint as mayor, "Politics is such a dirty business."