By Jennifer Eisenbart


There are four candidates vying for three open spots in this year’s Village of Rochester Board race.

Incumbents Christopher Bennett, Chris Johnson and Russ Kumbier are being challenged by Douglas Webb.


Christopher Bennett (inc.)

Age: 42

Occupation: freelance writer through his own company, First North Communication Services.

Education: Bachelor of Science in communication/English from Carroll University, masters degree in Management, Cardinal Stritch University.

Political experience: Village trustee since April of 2009. Ran unsuccessfully for the president’s seat in 2015.

Organizations: Central Racine County Board of Health and Western Racine County Sewerage District Committee member.

Family: wife, Rachel, and three daughters.

While Bennett tried last year for the village president position – and was unsuccessful – he said in his candidate biography that he remains committed to being a village trustee.

“I enjoy being an elected official and serving the village in this capacity,” Bennett wrote. “I bring a steady and measured approach to the position and advocate for what I think will bring the greatest good for the great number.”

Bennett decided to run again because “I want to continue serving our community.”

“I want people to continue living here and moving here for the reasons I live here and moved here – low taxes, terrific municipal services, access to two excellent school districts and a calm way of life,” Bennett wrote.


Chris Johnson (inc.)

Age: 59

Occupation: soil tester/plumber

Education: High school degree and master plumber designation.

Political experience: village trustee

Organizations: none

Family: married with seven children and 12 grandchildren.

Johnson made a very simple point when returning his candidate biography form.

“With my previous experience on the Village Board and my commitment to the Village of Rochester, I want to give back to the community what the community has given to me all these years,” Johnson wrote.

He has been a resident of Rochester for 48 years.


Russ Kumbier (inc.)

Age: n/a

Occupation: special education department chair at Hamilton High School, Milwaukee.

Education: n/a

Political experience: served on old Village Board 2006 to 2009, re-elected to new board for current term.

Organizations: members of the Ordinance and Historic Preservation Committees in Rochester, serves on the 150th Annual Memorial Day Committee.

Family: wife, Kristi, and three sons

Kumbier and his family have been active in the community, both in the Boy Scouts – Kumbier is the leader of Troop 324 – and in other community activities.

Kumbier said he and his wife, Kristi, fell in love with Rochester when they moved to the community 16 years ago, and called it the perfect place to raise a family.

“As a member of the Village Board, I have made it my mission to maintain a high quality of services while meeting the tight fiscal guidelines that the residents of Rochester expect from their elected officials,” he wrote in his candidate biography form. “I am the only candidate in the race that regularly goes to Madison to meet with state legislators to discuss issues important to the people of our community and to lobby for the interests of Rochester.

“If I am entrusted with your vote on April 5, I pledge to you that I will keep on working hard, continuing to make Rochester a great place to live, raise a family and to do business,” he added.


Douglas Webb

Age: 45

Occupation: crane operator

Education: college classes

Political experience: none

Organizations: none

Family: wife and two daughters.

Webb said he has resided in Rochester for 43 of his 45 years, and now with both children grown, he wants to get more involved in the community.

“What better way to get involved than by being on the board?” he wrote in his candidate biography. “I feel it’s my time to get to know the issues better and do my part to help our community be the best it can be.”

He added, “The sewer project on River Road is a very important issue in Rochester now, and often a fresh, new perspective is what is needed in any type of government. I intend to educate myself and use my experience to make fair and honest decisions on this and all issues for the long term good of our community.”