Kerkman defeats Zievers for judge


Randall resident Chad Kerkman turned around his second place finish in the primary to win the new Circuit Court Branch 8 judgeship.

Kerkman outpolled opponent Fred Zievers 8908 to 8398. Zievers had drawn the most votes in a four-way primary election in April.

Kerkman, watching returns at the Birchwood Grill with supporters, received a concession call a little before 9 p.m. from Zievers.

Kerkman, 38, had some considerable obstacles to overcome. In the primary he was strong west of the I, but finished lower than second in many eastern wards. Zievers also had raised considerably more money than Kerkman during the campaign.


Chad Kerkman receives his concession call from Fred Zievers.

Kerkman attributed his victory to his style of campaigning.

“I just kept doing what I was doing before the primary, going to events, meeting people …” Kerkman said. “A good grass roots campaign is better than a campaign based on mailers.”

During the campaign, Zievers had emphasized his greater experience than Kerkman, but kerkman said he fund not to be a factor for most people.

“A lot of people were very receptive to having  a young  judge. I was a little surprised at that,” Kerkman said.

With his new duties not starting until August, Kerkman said he will spend the intervening time cleaning out his law office, finishing up some pending cases, spending time with his family and then “getting ready to be a judge.”

Kerkman said he thought his victory marked the first for a countywide judge candidate who lived west of the I in 30 years. Judge Mary K. Wagner is a west of the I native, but lived in Kenosha by the first time she ran for judge.


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