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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Bob Ryan is Out

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I have very mixed feelings about the saga of Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan.  Ryan was knocked off by Terrry Van Akkeren in last night's Mayoral Recall Election.

You probably know the back story.  Ryan is an admitted alcoholic.  He had a well publicized binge in Elkhart Lake last summer.  It led to embarrassing pictures and cell phone videos.  It was awful for his family and it was undoubtedly embarrassing for Sheboygan residents.  It was ugly.  There is no doubt.

Mayor Ryan claims he has now been sober for 200 days.  He says he was never under the influence at work or while on Council business. No one has ever disputed that.  Most folks I spoke with feel the Mayor did a good job on policy issues.  It wasn't enough. He got clobbered by Van Akkeren.

I am conflicted on this.  I feel bad for the Mayor and his family.  He has a sickness.  He is recovering.  He is trying to do right by his family.  I think what he did was disgraceful, but not intentional.  But thre is no doubt, it wasn't good for Sheboygan.

As Bob Ryan found out, at the end of the day voters get to decide whether a candidate's personal life is relevant.

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