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Kathleen Novack Wins Waukesha County Clerk Primary Election

Tight race in three-way Republican primary election. Meanwhile, Register of Deeds candidate Jim Behrend wins GOP primary election.

In an election night surprise, City of Pewaukee Alderwoman pulled out a win Tuesday to advance in the Waukesha County clerk race.

Novack received 35.9 percent of the vote to ’s 33.5 percent and 's 30.3 percent. While Karalewitz and Kozlik received support from prominent community leaders, it wasn't enough for her to take the race.

All election results are unofficial until canvassing.

The vote tallies are:

  • Novack: 19,727
  • Karalewitz: 18,393
  • Kozlik: 16,641

Novack said she wasn’t surprised by her victory.

“I was very hopeful that this would be the outcome,” she said. “It has been a very tough race with some strong opponents. Even with the final numbers, it is not a huge difference. It has been a nail-bitter for me, that is for sure. … November here it comes.”

Novack will take on However, Novack noted that Waukesha County predominantly votes with the Republican candidates. Read received 4,239 votes in the primary election, although the race wasn't contested and voters can't cross parties in a primary election.

“I am thinking that I have taken on a big task and a lot of responsibility,” Novack said. “I am excited to get in there and get it done — do what I need to do to get us back on task.”

Karalewitz, Kozlik React to Loss

In the end, Karalewitz said it’s the people’s choice to vote for the person they want in office.

“I have a wonderful job in the Town of Mukwonago as well,” Karalewitz said. “The residents love me there. There is another plan out there. It is what it is.”

Kozlik said she was disappointed, but that she worked hard on the campaign during a short amount of time.

“I really have no regrets,” she said.

The strong support of people telling her they voted for her — even people she didn’t know — was “wonderful,” she said.

“I knew I had some competition,” Kozlik said. “I guess I didn’t expect it as much from Novack. I wish whoever ends up winning well. I will certainly support them any way I will.”

Register of Deeds

In the incumbent Jim Behrend won with 21,100 votes – 41.5 percent of the vote.

Also in the election were:

  • Michael Starich; 16,430 votes, 32.3 percent
  • Barbara Larson-Lloyd; 13,109 votes, 25.8 percent

Because Behrend does not face a Democratic challenger, he essentially was re-elected to his position.

Jessie Read August 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Thank you for your confidence Matt. I totally agree that these administrative positions should be non-partisan. In fact part of my platform is that I will run the office in a non-partisan manner - frankly I don't see how partisan politics would play a role in managing the county clerk's office if it is being run in a transparent manner. My understanding is that there are five county offices that are, by state constitution law, elected in partisan races. As it is part of our constitution, it would probably have to be brought before the whole state as a referendum and passed by the legislature to amend the constitution - an involved, lengthy process, I am sure.
Jessie Read August 15, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I did not get my comments into A. Budde in time to be in her article that came out last night. But I did want to share my thoughts on this primary election: My initial reaction is that Waukesha County is obviously looking for someone with a fresh perspective, yet with enough outside pertinent experience and education to bring competency back into this office. As Kathleen and I have similar educational backgrounds I think the next 2 1/2 months will be an interesting political race to see who can win the trust of the people of Waukesha County. My congratulations goes to Kathleen Novack for winning her party's nomination and I look forward to meeting her on the campaign trail. Jessie Read Democrat Party nominee for Waukesha County Clerk
Scott Berg August 15, 2012 at 11:29 PM
The partisan county positions are Sheriff, County Clerk, County Treasurer, Clerk of Circuit Court, Coroner, and Register of Deeds. I *think* this is actually in the state constitution, not the statutes, but then I'm not a lawyer. My understanding is that this is left over from the progressive era of a century ago. The theory was that The People (voters) should have the maximum amount of power over government possible, so as many positions as possible should be elected, not apponted or direct staff. How that lofty goal of accountability supports partisan positions, I don't know. There have been some attempts to make these officea non-partian or even staff, but it's a compex process for little perceived benefit. State legislators would rather deal with other issues. Personally, I find the possibility of a sheriff who thinks "that guy belongs to the other party, so he's obviously the one to arrest" , then being supported by a partisan District Attorney, to be horrifying. Then again, state and national partisan officials often get their start at the local level, so maybe it's a training ground of sorts.
Matt August 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Interesting, thanks for shedding some light on this all to complicated issue. As far as being a training ground I see being a mayor or city council person to be more training, which funny enough, are non-partisan. Most of the things our state legislators do are more symbolic, naming a street or congratulating the Green Bay Packers, I think it would be worth a day on the floor to clean this up.
Humble Pie August 16, 2012 at 05:22 AM
GO NOVACK I knew you were the winner all along and told many about you. Congrats, Nice job, well done, and very deserved! See you proved it the hard work was all in what you were about not the campaigning. Jefferson E. Davis I absolutely agree thankful the voters saw through smoke screens by the establishments. I personally think its hilarious how Kozlik underestimated Novack and was too worried about Karalewitz and they both lost. KATHLEEN NOVACK BEST CHOICE WE WILL BE HERE IN NOVEMBER FOR YOU!!

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