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American News Apr 6, 2022 10:49 PM EST

Republican elected as Kenosha County Executive, ending decades of Democrat leadership

After decades of Democrat leadership, Kenosha County's Executive is now a Republican.

Republican elected as Kenosha County Executive, ending decades of Democrat leadership
Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

After decades of Democrat leadership, Kenosha County's Executive is now a Republican.

Citizens of Kenosha County in Wisconsin made their voices heard at the polls on Tuesday to elect their County Executive.

According to the Kenosha News, Samantha Kerkman won against her Democrat counterpart Rebecca Matoska-Mentink, becoming the first Republican to hold the position in decades, and the first woman to hold the position.

Unofficial results reportedly showed that Kerkman received 14,693 votes, and Matoska-Mentink received 13,886. That's 51.3 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively.

Kerkman is set to take the oath of office later this month, assuming the duties of her predecessor, Jim Kreuser, who has served as County Executive since 2008, and his last day in office will be April 18.

Kerkman will serve a two-month period transitionary period, in which she will serve a dual role in her newly elected position, and in her position as a state representative.

"I congratulate County Executive-elect Kerkman for her success in Tuesday’s election," Kreuser said. "The voters made their choice, and we are already working on the transition process. I look forward to working with County Executive-elect Kerkman on a successful transition, so that county government continues to run smoothly."

"I want to thank all my supporters and everyone who came out to vote," Kerkman said during her election-night gathering. "Becky [Matoska-Mentink] called, and I appreciate that. In the new role, we’ll work very closely together."

According to the Kenosha News, Matoska-Mentink remains the Kenosha County Court Clerk."

"I look forward to working with the County Board and all the county offices," Kerkman added.

According to the county website, the position of County Executive is "non-partisan," however many have highlighted the fact that Kerkman, who also serves as the state representative for the 61st Assembly District, is the first Republican to be elected in decades.

Kenosha was brought into national headlines after violent riots spread across the city in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Kenosha County, which has been described as a "key light-red swing county," is currently represented by Democrat Tip McGuire. It was suggested that perhaps Kerkman's election was a sign of a changing tide for Republicans.

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