After County Executive Kathleen Falk shocked everyone Monday by announcing she plans to step down mid-term next April, attention turned immediately to who would fill her shoes. The election next spring would be for a two-year term instead of the usual four years.
No candidates have yet declared, but pundits are floating lots of names.
The heir apparent is County Board Chair Scott McDonell, who seems blindsided by the news and is still deciding whether to run. "She and I had been talking about the budget, so I was just as surprised as anybody," he says. "Kathleen is good at keeping a secret."
Other well-known names being discussed are former Ald. Zach Brandon, former Mayor Paul Soglin, Falk's 2009 challenger Nancy Mistele, and county supervisors Kurt Schlicht, Dave Wiganowsky and Al Matano.
"There's lots of speculation. Who knows who might come out of the woodwork?" says Supv. Eileen Bruskewitz. "I think we're in for some real interesting politics in the next six months."