Novack beats Read in race for Waukesha County clerk
Incumbent Nickolaus pledges smooth transition
As the nation had their eyes on the presidential election, Waukesha County also had its eyes on the race for county clerk - a position that has been the focus of much attention lately.
Republican Kathleen Novack of Pewaukee won the race in a landslide with 155,430 votes over her opponent, Democrat Jessie Read of Sussex, who won 63,575 votes.
Both candidates went into the campaign with a hope to bring better organization to the county's election process.
"I'm very excited that the election came out the way it did," said Novack, adding that she is looking forward to starting the transition period into her new role.
Current County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus called Novack on Tuesday night to offer her words of congratulations, as well as an invitation to work with Nickolaus to make for a smooth transition come January.
"I made it a point when I came into office whenever I made the decision to leave the office that I would never do to the next clerk how it was handled when I came into office," said Nickolaus. "I made sure that Kathleen understood that I'd like to meet with her and have her meet the staff to calm any anxiety with the transitions." Nickolaus also invited Novack to watch the election process during the Dec. 4 Senate 33 race.
Nickolaus added that it is important to her that Novack have everything she needs at her fingertips.
Novack said Nickolaus' call was "really a great first step" in the transition.
Novack hopes to meet with all of the local municipal clerks before the end of the year so she can start in her new position with some familiarity.
"Hopefully that will get us going," said Novack.
"I'm just really thankful for all the people who worked so hard for me," she said. In terms of her opponent, she said, "I think we both ran a very respectful race and I truly appreciated that on Jessie's part. I wish her very well."
After the results were announced Tuesday night, Read made the following statement: "First I would like to extend my congratulations to Kathleen for her win for the county clerk office. I wish you all the best. I am certain you will manage this office with integrity and competency."
She added that she feels she achieved some measure of success as well. "This is my first time running for public office, and I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish with this campaign. I also feel that I gave the voters of Waukesha County a viable choice for this county office - something that I don't believe they have had for a long time. That is a victory in and of itself.
"Again, my congratulations to Kathleen, and thank you for a civil and well-fought race. And to the good people of Waukesha County: I think you might well hear from me again. This will not be my one and only political race."
Nickolaus will remain in the clerk's position until January. As she looks toward the last few months of her position, Nickolaus said "serving the residents of Waukesha County will be one of the greatest honors in my life," and she is looking forward to her future.
Vote totals are unofficial until canvassed.
Novack has been a City of Pewaukee alderwoman since 2006.
Read is the owner of JRR Bookkeeping Service.
Kathleen Novack (R) 155,430
Jessie Read (D) 63,575
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