Philanthropist Chris Abele and Republican state Representative Jeff Stone were vying to fill Scott Walker’s shoes. Stone brought years of experience in government. Abele, a political newcomer, promised a fresh perspective and new ideas. At his victory party Tuesday, Abele said he was eager to get to work. “I’ve got the beginnings of a great transition team, I’ve been talking to a lot of potential people to bring in, and I’m just excited to hit the ground running,” he said.
When he spoke to supporters, Abele said voters viewed his lack of experience in government as a plus. “If there was one constant throughout this campaign it was the need for change. I’ve talked to people in all 19 municipalities, cities, villages throughout the campaign, and everywhere I went I heard the same thing. The status quo is not working, more of the same is only going to get us what we’ve gotten
Abele was running in an election many considered a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker, the former county executive. When he held the job, Walker had a rocky relationship with the county board. Abele billed himself as someone who would end divisiveness and focus on what’s best for the county. “In addition to 19 municipalities, Milwaukee County also contains UWM, MPW, MMSD, the Wisconsin Center District, all of which are serving the same citizens and yet too often we interact as if we’re different countries. It’s time for a new approach and it’s time to stop working apart and start working together