One-time allies now rivals in the race for Wisconsin Rapids mayo - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

One-time allies now rivals in the race for Wisconsin Rapids mayor

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -

Wisconsin Rapids will have some experience in the mayor's office next term. It's just a question of who that will be. Current Mayor Zach Vruwink and former mayor Mary Jo Carson are up against each other for the seat.

These one-time allies are now rivals in the race for mayor. Carson retired in 2012 after six years in office. At that time she backed Vruwink in the election. He won at the age of 24.

"I assumed that where I left it would be built upon and it would continue in the direction of being fiscally conservative with the taxpayers dollars," said Carson.

But now she says she regrets backing Vruwink, and says it's time for change.

"I left things in good shape I felt. Now, some things have changed and I'm not real happy with it so it needs to be talked about," said Carson.

But Vruwink says going back to the past is not the answer.

"We don't live in a bubble or on an island, so we need to continue to build relationships beyond the city," said Vruwink.

Instead, he says his business experience is what Wisconsin Rapids needs.

"I felt that I could offer something different than what previous mayors and still feel that way," explained Vruwink. "We can't continue to do things the same old way and Rapids needs to transform."

Clearly it's a different political picture than two years ago. And how it will end up, voters will decide April 1st.

A third candidate was eliminated in last night's primary election, Steve Koth. He says he now endorses Carson for the spot.

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