MADISON (WKOW) -- Scott McDonell was sworn-in Tuesday as Dane County executive as Kathleen Falk resigned the job, but McDonell's current tenure will be short and Falk will return to the job temporarily.
Dane County judge William Foust presided over McDonell's swearing-in. As county board chairperson, McDonell becomes county executive as the result of the resignation.
By law, McDonell has ten days to appoint someone to serve as executive until the job can be filled by election. McDonell could have appointed himself, but chose instead to pick Falk. The selection must be approved by county board members, and that's expected Jan. 6.
McDonell is running for the job and said he felt it would it be fair to all candidates to have someone serve until a successor is chosen in April who was not in the race.
In addition to McDonell, state commerce official and former Madison alderman Zach Brandon, state lawmaker Joe Parisi and former state lawmaker Joe Wineke have announced they are also running.
Former county executive Jonathan Barry has said he's also considering a run and expects to announce his plans next week.
Capital Times editor John Nichols told WKOW27 News candidates for the non-partisan position will have be aware of county voters' democratic leanings. Nichols said despite significant gains by republicans in November's election, Dane County voters favored democratic candidates and did so by greater margins than in the past.
Nichols said candidates will have to prioritize job creation and protection, with state jobs comprising much of the county's employment and republican Governor-Elect Walker considering downsizing the state workforce.
Falk announced her resignation plans earlier this year and served fourteen years as elected county executive. Falk said she wants to pursue another career choice and is open to a variety of possibilities. She's yet to reveal her next job.
Nichols said Falk's name recognition, long tenure and popularity with a majority of county voters would make her endorsement of a candidate in the primary pivotal. But Falk has said she does not intend to endorse anyone for the February primary.
Primary voting will narrow the field to two candidates.
Online reporting by Tony Galli.