MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – Incumbent Mayor Justin Nickels is facing off against Chris Able for the seat of Manitowoc Mayor on April 6.

Justin Nickels became mayor at the age of 22 and was the youngest mayor in the nation at that time. He’s been focusing heavily on the downtown area as well as the budget.

Former alderperson Chris Able is running against Nickels and he says he’s looking to get back into politics.

Both sat down with WFRV Local 5 to answer 5 Critical Questions ahead of the April 6 election.


For Chris Able: Why are you running for Mayor of Manitowoc?

For Justin Nickels: Why are you running for re-election?


For Chris Able: If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?

For Justin Nickels: If re-elected, what do you hope to accomplish in your next term?


How would you improve the vitality of downtown Manitowoc?


Manitowoc has a great resource of water – the river and the lakeshore – what can be done to improve that resource for the people of Manitowoc?


What about the Mirro site? What should be done with that area?

What is 5 Critical Questions?

5 Critical Questions is a WFRV Local 5 project providing voters an opportunity to learn more about what their candidates stand for.

We look to do this when there are two remaining candidates for office either in a contested single party primary with no other party running – or a final election.

The digitally exclusive project is different to a traditional debate in a few ways: 

  1. Candidates are not in the same room when the questions are asked. This is important because it averts any kind of debate tactic, influence, drama, or digression from the issues.
  2. The two candidates answer the same exact five questions, asked in the exact same way. This allows the viewer to see clearly where the candidates stand on the issues that may decide their vote.
  3. Answers are not edited in any way. We ask candidates to limit their answers to three minutes and then we stand back until they’re finished. What you see online is word for word what the candidates told us.