Holmen police probe school board election flyer with hateful, racist message

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) — The Holmen Police Department is investigating the photo of a flyer found Saturday depicting two Holmen School Board candidates with racist messaging.

The flyer, which was shared on a Reddit forum, depicted Holmen School Board candidates Josh Neumann and Updike with the messaging “Keep Holmen Schools White and Christian.”

Holmen Sb Attack Flyer

Neumann and Updike condemned the flyer in a news release, saying: “Today we were victims of a disgusting and vile fake political ad which was posted on social media platforms, our campaign pages and circulated throughout the community. This is a blatant attack trying to discredit both of us in an attempt to gain political advantage.”

Neumann and Updike also urged other Holmen School Board candidates to call for the La Crosse County District Attorney to open an investigation.

District Attorney Tim Gruenke told News 8 in an email that no one asked his department to investigate at this time. The Holmen PD is actively investigating.

“We’re not even sure if there was an actual flyer associated with it, or if it was simply posted online,” Updike said.

Holmen School Board President Cheryl Hancock condemned the message, as did school board opponents Barb Wuensch and Rebecca Rieber.

In an email to News 8 Now, Wuensch said: “A picture of a flyer was shared with me on Saturday, endorsing two of my opponents in the upcoming school board election, the creator of such is unclear at this time. I am disgusted by it and condemn the bigoted and racist sentiments. Hate has no place in our community or school district.”

Rieber also said in an email to News 8 Now: “I am appalled and saddened by a picture related to our school board election that was shared with me today. It is vile and hateful and this type of campaigning has no place in our community. I join Chad and Josh in seeking an investigation into this event.”

Holmen School Board President Cheryl Hancock also weighed in.

“I have never, in all my years on the Holmen school board seen something as horrific like this been distributed in our area,” Hancock said. “I really don’t believe that this is the work of anyone locally—this was done by an outside group.”

The Holmen School Board election will take place on April 5, when other spring elections are scheduled.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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