Bill Sodemann

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Bill Sodemann
Bill Sodemann.jpg
Board member, Janesville Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
April 2017
Years in position 10
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 1, 2014
First electedApril 2005
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Wisconsin-Whitewater
ProfessionBusiness owner
Office website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Bill Sodemann is an at-large member of the Janesville Board of Education in Wisconsin. He first won election to the board in 2005. Sodemann won re-election to the board in the general election on April 1, 2014.


Sodemann earned his B.S. in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1983. He is the owner and president of Phones Plus.[1]



See also: Janesville School District elections (2014)


Bill Sodemann ran against fellow incumbent Kevin Murray as well as challengers Diane Eyers, Fred Jackson and Dale Thompson in the general election on April 1, 2014.


Janesville School District, At-large General Election, 3-year term, April 1, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Murray Incumbent 29% 4,360
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDale Thompson 20.3% 3,051
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBill Sodemann Incumbent 17.4% 2,612
     Nonpartisan Diane Eyers 17% 2,554
     Nonpartisan Fred Jackson 16.3% 2,448
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 29
Total Votes 15,054
Source: Rock County Clerk, "2014 Spring General Election," April 1, 2014


Sodemann was exempted from filing a pre-election campaign finance report to the school district clerk by the March 24 deadline.[2] State law allows candidates to claim exempt status from campaign finance reporting if contributions and expenditures do not exceed $1,000 during a calendar year.[3]


Sodemann received the endorsement of The Gazette in the April 1 general election.[4]


Janesville School District, At-large General Election, 3-year term, April 5, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Murray 25.1% 8,498
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBill Sodemann 22% 7,434
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott Feldt 18% 6,072
     Nonpartisan Fred Shahlapour 13.7% 4,630
     Nonpartisan John Burt 11.6% 3,922
     Nonpartisan Kirk Henry 9.4% 3,179
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.3% 86
Total Votes 33,821
Source: Rock County Clerk, "Nonpartisan Spring Election," accessed January 29, 2014

Campaign themes


In an interview with The Gazette, Sodemann stated that he considered not seeking re-election in December 2013. He decided to run for another term to ensure that the Journey to Excellence evaluation system would be implemented. This system establishes goals for administrators and educators in the district to determine staff development each year.[5]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

March 4 candidate forum

The League of Women Voters and the Janesville Area Council PTA hosted a candidate forum on March 4. Every candidate except Fred Jackson attended the forum. Incumbents Kevin Murray and Bill Sodemann argued for their re-election bids based on recent progress achieved by the board. Murray believes that the district must retain experienced teachers in order to improve academic performance. Sodemann decided to seek re-election to promote Journey to Excellence, an initiative that uses results in the classroom to assess employee performance.[6]

Challengers Diane Eyers and Dale Thompson emphasized the need for greater communication between district officials, teachers and parents. Eyers suggested that the district has to improve communications with the public regarding new policies. Thompson believed that teachers should be more involved in policy development rather than waiting for policies from the board. He also argued that the state legislature needs to provide more time for the district to meet Common Core curriculum standards.[6]

About the district

See also: Janesville School District, Wisconsin
Janesville School District is located in Janesville, Wisconsin
Janesville School District is located in Janesville, Wisconsin, which is the county seat of Rock County. According to the United States Census Bureau, Janesville is home to 63,588 residents.[7] Janesville School District is the ninth-largest school district in Wisconsin, serving 10,339 students during the 2010-11 school year.[8]


Janesville underperformed in comparison to the rest of Wisconsin in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 21.5% of Janesville residents aged 25 years and older had attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 26.4% for Wisconsin as a whole. The median household income in Janesville was $49,084 compared to $52,627 for the state of Wisconsin. The poverty rate in Janesville was 14.1% compared to 12.5% for the entire state.[7]

Racial Demographics, 2010[7]
Race Janesville (%) Wisconsin (%)
White 91.7 86.2
Black or African American 2.6 6.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 1.0
Asian 1.3 2.3
Two or More Races 2.1 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 5.4 5.9

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[9]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 60.9 37.8
2008 63.8 34.5
2004 58.3 41.1
2000 57.4 39.0

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[10]

Recent news

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