David W. Zoerner, 53 ,of Pleasant Prairie, was elected Sheriff tonight by a wide margin. He defeated his opponent, an Illinois police officer, by more than 13%. Republicans took all but one Kenosha County race, but Zoerner’s lead was the largest among republicans. Zoerner addressed a room of more than 100 supporters including friends, family, politicians, but most notably, many members of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. All ranks, from Deputies, and Detectives, to Sergeants and Captains celebrated with Zoerner and spoke of great optimism under a Zoerner administration. Congressman Bryan Steil and Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman both congratulated Zoerner and expressed excitement for his successful bid for Sheriff. In an interview with KCE, Zoerner said will focus his attention to filling the personnel vacancies in the jails, and tackling the opioid problem by building up the drug unit. Zoerner touts his close working relationship with County Exec Samantha Kerkman and the County Board and said they have already been in discussions to work on a checklist of goals he wants to accomplish.
Zoerner was able to take giant sigh of relief this evening and was emotional. Zoerner spoke about his parents and other loved ones that have passed away and weren’t able to be physically present this evening. He and his volunteers spent countless hours knocking on doors, putting up signs and speaking at events. Zoerner says he is looking forward to a post-campaign life, but is eager and excited to get to work.
Zoerner said he received a congratulatory phone call from the current Sheriff David Beth, and Racine County Sheriff Chris Schmaling, but had not received a concession phone call from his opponent.
Zoerner also thanked his wife Amy, for all of the support over the last several months. She would rarely be seen in public without a “Zoerner For Sheriff” shirt or hoodie.
Zoerner said he was congratulated by newly-appointed Kenosha Police Chief Patrick Patton. Patton, like Zoerner, is a U.S. Marine. Zoerner said he is excited to strengthen the releationship between the Sheriff’s Department and Kenosha Police. Patton told KCE, “I want to congratulate Dave on becoming Kenosha County’s next Sheriff. Dave is one of the most authentic individuals I have worked with and he is highly respected among his organization, surrounding law enforcement partners, and the community. Dave has presented a clear vision for his organization and I will support him in achieving that vision in anyway I can. I am excited to work closely with Dave to strengthen the relationship between the Kenosha County Sheriff Department and the Kenosha Police Department to better serve the community together.”
Zoerner will be sworn in on January 3, 2023.