By Dr. Derek Ellerman
As the spring election votes in America’s Dairyland are finalized, it looks like Kenosha County, Wisconsin has elected a Republican County Executive for the first time since 1998.
Kenosha county was the site of significant racial unrest after Jacob Blake’s police shooting. The Kyle Rittenhouse Case brought further attention to the area.
After beating Democrat Rebecca Motoksa -Mentink 51-49% in Kenosha County, Samantha Kerkman (Republican State Representative) will be the new Kenosha County Sheriff.
Rebecca Kleefisch was the ex-Lt. Former Lt. Gov. in Scott Walker’s administration, Rebecca Kleefisch was congratulated Kerkman for her victory.
.@SamanthakerkmanJust had a major win for conservatives at Kenosha County. Tony Evers, a liberal, let Kenosha go. Voters are now taking control back and placing the county under capable leadership. Let’s go.🙌 https://t.co/K4TKTEnxAN
— Rebecca Kleefisch (@RebeccaforReal) April 6, 2022
RELATED: Chilling Aerial Footage Shows Disturbing Scale Of Destruction In Kenosha After Weeks Of Riots
In 2020, Kenosha county was the site of significant rioting after Jacob Blake, a black male, was shot and killed by Kenosha police officers responding to a domestic disturbance.
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Video showed that Blake had a knife and the officer who was involved in shooting did not face charges. Blake was also wanted on felony warrants.
The episode was not only characterized by the devastation caused the following riots. It also led to Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial. Rittenhouse killed two men and shot three others in self defense at the scene. Rittenhouse was found not guilty by all the charges.
The rioting also gave rise to charges of “fake news” after outlets like CNN referred to the riots as peaceful, as anchors for the network stood in front of massive blazes.
In particular, CNN was mocked for a chyron that described the riots as “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”
Clowns. Clowns who are irresponsible
It’s not even funny. There have been months of silence and denial that has allowed violence and destruction to continue for many months, effectively removing all pressure from politicians to do something. pic.twitter.com/sbehzKrhmE
— AG🌻 (@AGHamilton29) August 27, 2020
RELATED: Kenosha Protest Leader: ‘If You Kill One Of Us, It’s Time For Us To Kill One Of Yours’
Public Safety Featured Heavily In County Executive Race
Kerkman, more than any other candidate, was particularly focused on safety and public safety in the race. Kerkman told Fox6, “When people have a job, and they have a place to live, and they feel safe, the businesses will come, and people will want to be employed by those businesses. They go hand in hand, I believe. Working together in a collaborative way to try to bring those community stakeholders together is so critical.”
Kerkman also told Fox, “Over the last 10 years, violent crime in Kenosha County has increased over 30%. Public safety is something that I often hear about. As county executive, I’d like to work together with our community partners to try to combat it.”
Kerkman’s campaign website led off with the issue as her top priority, reading:
Although violent crime rates have risen 31% in the past decade, Samantha Kerkman plans to reverse that trend. Protect law and order, and ensure that law enforcement is equipped with the necessary tools needed to keep families safe.
Kenosha County supported Donald Trump by just 255 votes. The county voted Republican for the first time since Richard Nixon.
Trump was elected President of the United States by 51-48%.
The county, which borders Illiniois and Lake Michigan, is considered a rust belt city that has seen severe de-industrialization.