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Keeping connected with the Outagamie County executive candidates

Outagamie County
Posted at 3:48 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 16:48:10-04

OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (NBC 26) — Outagamie County residents will soon be voting on a county executive. We spoke to both candidates about what they stand for and what their campaigns look like for the next week and a half.

Before February's primary, the current Outagamie County executive Tom Nelson faced two challengers: Justin Krueger and Kevin Sturn. The primary narrowed the field to two candidates, ruling out Krueger.

Nelson is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office.

“My record speaks for itself: We've got a triple A bond rating, we've got declining tax rate for eight years in a row, fully funded all of our services, we have a huge success story in the Appleton International Airport,” he said.

Nelson has 12 years of county executive experience under his belt and said he’s looking forward to voters having a choice, as he’s previously ran unopposed.

“I think we got a great story here, a success story. I welcome the competition and look forward to Election Day,” he said.

Nelson says voters want a local leader and he’s committed to constituents.

“They appreciate the kind of stability in the fact that you've got good leadership and you get real results at the local level,” he said.

Sturn also wants voters to know about his experience, including years of managerial experience, that he says makes him suited for the job.

“I have served eight years on the county board on the finance committee, and I served for years as a finance committee chair. I understand the budgets, the departments and operations of the county,” he said.

Sturn says he's running for county executive because he wants the county to have a leader, and that focus needs to be on county employees.

“Employees are doing a great job of taking care of the customers, but we need to do better taking care of employees,” he said.

The county executive position is a non-partisan, administrative role, and Sturn said he thinks the position has become politicized.

“The office of Outagamie County executive is an office of management and administration; it's not a political office,” he said.

Both candidates have remained busy campaigning post-primary.

“For me it's been a lot of voter outreach. I've knocked out about 3,000 doors, and door knocking, and one-to-one communication has always been important to me,” Nelson said.

Sturn has been spreading his message by door knocking as well.

“Lots of door knocking and lots of getting out and seeing people, visiting some local companies, just finished up at the last chamber event so the schedule is pretty full,” he said.

Nelson and Sturn said they'll continue their community outreach by knocking on doors until Election Day, which is Tuesday, April 4th.