For the first time in Kenosha History, the County Board is controlled by conservatives. During the first meeting since the election, a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected – Gabe Nudo and Erin Decker respectively. Both Nudo and Decker are board members of the Republican Party of Kenosha County, Decker being its Chairman. The board voted 12-9 to elect Nudo as the first ever Chairman that immigrated from another country.
Gabe Nudo – County Board Chairman
Gabe Nudo was born in a small town in Italy named Montalto in the province of Cosenza. Nudo lived in a small, two-bedroom home with no indoor plumbing or electricity with his parents, Grandmother, and 2 sisters. When Nudo turned 17, his parents made the choice to move to the United States for a better opportunity. Nudo worked odd jobs until he turned 18 and got a job at American Motors. He worked for AMC for the next decade and became a US Citizen. Nudo then started a successful career as a realtor and mortgage broker. Nudo has been married to his wife Marisa for almost a 50 years and has three children. One son is an Attorney, another a Police Detective, and his daughter an accountant. Nudo’s had two sisters, Maria and Anselmina who unfortunately have passed away.
When KCE asked who his idols where, he was quick to say “My parents. They taught me that I can achieve anything if I work hard.” They were right. Nudo is now the Chairman of the County Board for the 8th largest county in Wisconsin. Nudo’s father Alfonso worked for Peter Pirsh and his Mother worked for St. Catherine’s Hospital. In Nudo’s new role, he oversees the board’s agendas, decides the make-up of the committees and who chairs them, and nominates folks to different boards and commissions. He is tasked with deciding what direction to take the county in, along with the newly-elected County Executive, Samantha Kerkman. “I look forward to working with County Executive Samantha Kerkman and her administration to make decisions that are in the best interest of the county tax-payers. I also want to unite the board and for the county to be fiscally responsible again.”
Some democrats on the County Board were upset that they would not be selecting the next leaders. Among them, the most vocal were Andy Berg (D), Jeff Gentz (D), Jeff Wamboldt (D) and Daniel Gashke (D). They tried unsuccessfully to nominate Supervisor Yuhas (D) as the Chairman. Gentz was upset that the Board did not uphold its tradition of nominating a democrat. “It’s tradition,” he argued unsuccessfully. After Yuhas’s defeat, she was very gracious and professional. She personally shook hands with the chair and vice-chair, congratulating them and even changed out the name tags for Nudo and Decker. By all accounts, she showed class and grace.
Nudo was kind enough to allow KCE to have a tour of his new office. Dust covered the furniture and there were documents on the desk decades old. It seemed as the previous Chairman, John O’Day (D) never used the office. O’Day was made infamous when he fled the state during the riots of 2020. Nudo told KCE he has meetings tomorrow with staff and is eager to “get to work.” He says he will use the office to meet with anyone who wants to talk, having an open-door policy.
Visit From the County Executive
County Executive Kerkman took a brief break from her long first day in office to congratulate Nudo and Decker. Kerkman hired Tami Rongstad, a longtime staffer from Kerkman’s Madison office as her chief of staff. Kerkman also hired west-ender and journalist Jill Tatge-Rozell to serve as her office manager. She will begin work in mid May.
More Photos from Tuesday Night:
(Anyone on the board, or family members can contact us if they want to see all photos taken from Tuesday night and we will send you any you want. No cost, of course.)