Second write-in joins coroner race

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Ted Sullivan
Thursday, October 28, 2010
— Less than a week before the election, a Beloit man has registered as an independent write-in candidate for Rock County coroner.

Jason Dowd, 40, of 2052 Bootmaker Drive, Beloit, will challenge incumbent Democrat Jenifer Keach, 39, of 1320 Elida St., Janesville, and Democrat Terry Holder, 43, of 950 Nelson Ave., Milton, also a write-in candidate.

Keach will be the only candidate on the ballot. She beat Holder in the primary.

Dowd is a customer relations specialist at Mercy Health System. He was a certified nursing specialist for two years. He has nearly finished his associate's degree in health care administration.

If elected, Dowd said his focus would be on helping families, improving technology and serving the people.

Dowd said he favors an elected coroner instead of an appointed medical examiner. He said the county is trying to gain control of the office.

Dowd said the coroner's race has focused too much on personalities and not enough on the office.

"I just got fed up of reading all the blogs and the personal attacks," Dowd said. "The focus should be on what the coroner does and what we can do to make it better."

Dowd has been a candidate for coroner, Janesville City Council, Janesville School Board and Rock County Board in previous elections. He first ran for office when he was 18. He has never been elected.

He said he planned on getting out of politics, but the coroner issue drew him back.

"I want to see the coroner's office succeed," Dowd said. "It has an incredible amount of responsibility."

Keach was appointed coroner in 2005, and she was elected to the position in 2006.

Holder is a former autopsy assistant and phlebotomist at William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison. She resigned from her job because of the federal Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from running in partisan elections.

Voters also will decide in a November referendum whether to have an elected coroner or appointed medical examiner. The referendum will be advisory, and the Rock County Board won't have to follow its outcome.

Any change would not be effective until 2014.

Last updated: 3:07 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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