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SPECIAL SECTION

Jacki Gackstatter wins Rock County clerk of courts primary

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Jake Magee
August 12, 2014

JANESVILLE—Jacki Gackstatter beat Sue Enloe and Peter Severson on Tuesday in the Democratic primary election for Rock County Clerk of Circuit Court.

No Republican is seeking the office, meaning Gackstatter will be alone on the November ballot.

Gackstatter received 47.9 percent of the votes with a total of 6,756 ballots cast in her favor. Enloe got 4,118 votes, and Severson received 3,200.

Gackstatter said many people contributed to her victory, including her husband, Jeff; two daughters and their significant others; and the alumni of Emerge Wisconsin, a training program for Democratic women from which Gackstatter recently graduated.

“I had a lot of people who supported me and worked hard, and we ran a good campaign.”

The incumbent clerk of courts, Eldred Mielke, under whom Gackstatter has worked for four years, endorsed her campaign. Gackstatter said that support helped her secure votes.

“I know having Eldred in my camp helped,” she said, noting that voters trusted not only her experience but the long-term incumbent's opinion of her, as well.

Gackstatter is a court collection specialist/accountant at the clerk of courts office. Adjusting her relationship with others from coworker to boss will take time, she said.

“It's a transitional period, so I'm not going to rush into it,” she said.

In the long term, Gackstatter wants “to keep the office running as smoothly as it is now.” Maintaining the office's integrity is a top priority, she said.

“We've got a really good team … and we want to keep that going,” she said.

She looks forward to facing new challenges, both in the office and on a personal level.

“I'm actually most excited about becoming an advocate at the state level and working with the other clerks of court in the state and moving things forward …” she said.

Gackstatter was pleased with the “cordial and civil” interactions with Enloe and Severson throughout the campaign.

“I want to thank my two opponents because we ran a good race,” Gackstatter said. “It was a positive race. There wasn't any negativity.”

Gackstatter will take office in January.



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