The Walworth County Circuit Court Race (Preliminaries)

One may say two things, preliminarily, about the Walworth County Circuit Court race:

  • It’s a race between generally conservative candidates; there are no left-right differences of significance.
  • Incumbent District Attorney Dan Necci, after only briefly serving in that role, is running with almost no local, official support for his candidacy from among those with whom he has worked or would have to work.

That’s a huge tell, and reason to write again about this race at length: Necci’s been district attorney only for a short while, and now wants to be a judge, but cannot serve effectively in that role without significant, positive collaborative relationships.

He has few, if any, such relationships in Elkhorn. That seldom happens – most officials will accept one local candidate or another.

It’s more than unusual – it’s a practical disqualification. Necci’s not running as an editorialist, a blogger, an activist – he’s serving as a district attorney, and is running to be a circuit judge. Those roles require cooperation with other officeholders, and their support going forward – but Necci has almost none of that.

He’s had to rely on support from out-of-county officeholders, or state politicians with no day-to-day role in Elkhorn.

Needless to say, I’m not disposed to the political culture in Elkhorn, but then that’s why I am not – and never will – run for office there. Necci is running there, but he’s so alienated other officeholders that his support among them is almost non-existent.

Even former members of his own district attorney’s office are supporting one or another of his opponents.  Local lawyers, local law enforcement, local court personnel, etc., are all lined up with his opponents. 

Honest to goodness, that doesn’t happen unless one has made an utter hash of his or her time in office.

And that, dear readers, is a subject worth pursing as the general election in April draws closer.

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8 years ago

I have no skin in this game having relocated far from Walworth County but I can offer some insight into one of Necci’s opponents – Commissioner Daniel Johnson. A personal acquaintance of mine has been in Commissioner Johnson’s courtroom and said he was always thoughtful, respectful and compassionate while adhering to the law as he interpreted it. Personally, I’d rather have a person who has some “been there-done that” experience sitting on the bench.