UPDATE: The Race For Dane County Executive

By: Dana Brueck Email
By: Dana Brueck Email

UPDATED Wednesday, January 5, 2011 --- 8:15 a.m.

Press Release:

MADISON – Former Dane County Clerk and State Representative Joe Parisi (D-Madison) received a key endorsement in his race for Dane County Executive today, earning the support of Former Dane County Executive Rick Phelps.

“I am proud to throw my support behind Joe Parisi as our next Dane County Executive,” said Phelps. “Joe will create jobs and strengthen our economy in ways that sustain our own high quality of life in Dane County. He will make sure that these new jobs provide equal opportunity for all of our citizens. And as the only candidate in the race with administrative experience at the county level, his record of finding innovative ways to streamline county operations and save taxpayer money will be sorely needed in these difficult times.”

“As a former Dane County Executive, Rick Phelps has a record as a forward thinker who protected our county and its residents,” said Parisi. “He knows what it takes to get the job done and I’m honored to have his support and his vote of confidence.”

Former Dane County Executive Rick Phelps’ endorsement is the latest for Parisi. Recently, Joe received the endorsement of the United Transportation Union, the first union endorsement of any candidate in the Dane County Executive’s race.

As Dane County Executive, Parisi will focus on job creation and retention, making the county a leader in family-supporting clean energy jobs, and protecting vital human and public services that keep our families and our community safe.

Rick Phelps served as Dane County Executive for 9 years. During his tenure, Phelps made important strides to build Dane County’s infrastructure and protect the health and safety of Dane County’s environment, and residents. Among his accomplishments, Phelps reformed human services and created Joining Forces for Families, initiated the county-wide hiking and biking trails system, implemented the county’s 911 system, and established the first county-wide recycling program. Phelps also made important progress for equal opportunity, creating the Dane County Minority Affairs Commission. Phelps is currently the Senior Vice President of M&I Bank.


UPDATED Monday, December 27, 2010 --- 11:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Outgoing Gov. Jim Doyle has endorsed a member of his administration over a state lawmaker and former party chairman in the race for Dane County executive.

Zach Brandon announced on Monday that Doyle was endorsing him in the race to replace Kathleen Falk. Brandon currently works as deputy secretary in Doyle's Commerce Department.

Doyle chose to back Brandon over Democratic state Rep. Joe Parisi, former Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke and county board chairman Scott McDonell. Wineke is also currently a member of Doyle's administration, serving in the Office of State Employee Relations.

Doyle says he trusts Brandon the most of all those running and believes he is the only candidate with the vision and talent to make job creation a priority in the county.

The primary is Feb. 15.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


UPDATED Tuesday, December 14, 2010 --- 9:10 a.m.

Press Release:

Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer announced today that he has reluctantly decided to withdraw his candidacy for the position of Dane County Executive. Hochkammer severely fractured his ankle in late November and has had two surgeries to repair the fracture. While the surgeries have been successful, he continues to have much pain and will be unable to bear any weight on his ankle for another three months.

“It has been extremely disappointing to me to make this decision because I believe my experience, judgment and vision make me the right choice for the future of Dane County. However, I know that my ankle injury will not allow me to run the campaign as it needs to be run,” said Hochkammer. “I appreciate the outpouring of support for my recovery and for the campaign. I am humbled by the encouragement and financial support my family, friends and supporters have once again shown. But, for now I need to focus on my recovery, my family, my job and serving as Mayor of Verona.”


UPDATED Monday, November 15, 2010 --- 2:40 p.m.

NBC15 received the following media release:

Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer will be holding a press conference on Tuesday to announce his intention to run for Dane County Executive. Hochkammer has over 30 years of local government experience, including thirteen years in Verona on the City Council and the last four as Mayor.

Hochkammer will be laying out his intentions to run for the office as well as his vision for Dane County.


UPDATED Monday, November 15, 2010 --- 11:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democratic state Rep. Joe Parisi is considering a run for Dane County executive.

Parisi announced Monday that he filed the paperwork required to start an exploratory committee to look at running for the position that is being vacated by the retiring Kathleen Falk.

Parisi was first elected to the state Assembly in 2004. Prior to that he served eight years as Dane County clerk.

Parisi says he will announce his decision in the next few weeks.

Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell has already announced he's running.

The election will be in the spring, with the exact date depending on when Falk actually leaves office. She's been county executive since 1997.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


UPDATED Monday, November 15, 2010 --- 10:50 a.m.

Press Release:

MADISON – State Representative and former Dane County Clerk Joe Parisi announced he is forming an exploratory committee in order to consider a run for Dane County Executive.

“Even those of us with strong ties to Dane County government were surprised by County Executive Kathleen Falk’s announcement that she plans to resign and that there will be an election to replace her in April,” Parisi said. “I love serving in the state Legislature. Yet given this unexpected news and my roots as an administrator in county government, I need to evaluate where I can make the greatest difference in my community.”

Today Parisi filed the necessary paperwork with the Dane County Clerk to allow him to create an exploratory committee. Parisi plans to talk to family, friends and advisors and will announce his decision within the next few weeks.


UPDATED Thursday, October 21, 2010 --- 4:50 p.m.

NBC15 received this press release on Thursday from Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer:

With diverse experience in both the public and private sectors, City of Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer is seriously considering a bid to be the next Dane County Executive.

“People that know my passion for the future of Dane County have asked that I explore a run for Dane County’s highest elected office” said Hochkammer.

“As the mayor of Verona and a longtime public servant with deep roots in county government, I take the responsibility given to me by the citizens very seriously. I have been able to bring many new jobs to Verona and know how to promote economic development. I also care deeply about the services Dane County provides to our communities, from transportation to public safety to the welfare of our seniors, these services are essential to our daily lives.”

Hochkammer’s service to the City of Verona began in 1997 when he was elected to the city council and continued in 2006 when he was first elected mayor. His involvement in county government began in 1984 as a Manitowoc County Board Supervisor. In 1990 Jon was elected by his peers to serve as chair and administrative coordinator. From 1977 to 1993 Hochkammer owned and operated his own dairy and beef operation.

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk has appointed Jon Hochkammer to the Area Agency on Aging Board, Human Services Board, Library Board and Specialized Transportation Commission.

“I have always believed that we need to create responsible and workable budgets that balance affordable taxes with providing essential services that make our communities a great place to live, work and raise a family,” said Hochkammer. “In Verona we have been able to balance the need to create jobs that support our community with the need to protect our valuable natural resources.”

“In the coming weeks I will continue to work with my family, friends and supporters to explore the pieces necessary to wage a successful campaign,” said Hochkammer. “I am proud of my experience and believe my common sense leadership approach would be a great asset to Dane County.”


UPDATED Monday, October 4, 2010 --- 5:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk says she is resigning in April.

At a news conference Monday, Falk said it was the right time to move on since she is turning 60 in 2011. She also noted she accomplished promises from her re-election, including building the first community manure digester in the nation.

Falk has been county executive since 1997. She was re-elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

She lost the Democratic primary for governor in 2002, when she became the first major party female candidate for governor in state history.

Before becoming county executive, Falk was an assistant attorney general in the Wisconsin Department of Justice for 14 years.

She says by announcing her intention now, a county executive can be elected during the regularly scheduled April 2011 election.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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