Controversy surrounds Iron County Board election

By KBJR News 1

April 1, 2014 Updated Apr 1, 2014 at 8:04 PM CDT

Iron County, WI(NNCNOW.com)--- People in Wisconsin are heading out to the polls today...and among the races getting a lot of attention is the race for the Iron County Board.

It really all stems from the controversy over taconite mining in Iron County, and the proposed G-TAC MINE IN THE Penokee Hills.

In what would normally be an uneventful election process, ten of the fifteen candidates find that they now have challengers.

To make things more interesting, those challengers have been getting support from some very deep pockets.

Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch Brothers, recently peppered the county with flyers asking voters to support pro-mining candidates.

The Koch Brothers own Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States, with billions in assets.

The flyers named seven incumbent candidates calling them radical environmentalists.

We spoke with one of those candidates, who said he doesn't identify with either description.

"When I first saw it I thought it was a parody because the facts on it were really strange. The fact that they said that we were actively trying to close the mines here and that they have been closed since 1966. That we are receiving money from wealthy outside environmental groups which is absurd," said Richard Thiede, Iron County Board Candidate, District 10.

According to Iron County Clerk Mike Sarri, turnout for the spring election is typically around 20 percent, but he's anticipating that today's turnout will be much higher.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

We will have full election coverage as results come in.

Written and posted tot he web by Raeanna Marnati