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 Kathleen Novack pulled out a win Tuesday to advance in the Waukesha County clerk race.
Novack received 35.9 percent of the vote to Town of Mukwonago Clerk/Administrator Kathleen Karalewitz’s 33.5 percent and City of Waukesha Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Gina Kozlik'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 Jessie Read, a Democratic candidate, in November. 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 Register of Deeds race, 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.