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Necci wins primary for DA



Necci
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Necci (click for larger version)
August 14, 2012 | 09:32 PM
ELKHORN — For the first time in three decades, a person with no direct ties to the Walworth County District Attorney's Office will likely become its top prosecutor.

On Tuesday night, Dan Necci won the Republican primary in a landslide against Delavan-based attorney Steven Harvey. Without a Democratic challenger in the general election, Necci is all but assured the job.

"The difference maker is the trust of the people of Walworth County," Necci said. "In the end it is who do you trust. The people have placed their trust in me, and boy, that is one huge responsibility. I'm excited to take it on and am excruciatingly humbled by the fact that so many people have placed their trust in me to lead that office."

With 97 percent of the ballots counted, Necci defeated Harvey 7,213- 3,397.

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"I'm even more humbled than anything, I'm beside myself," Necci said in reaction to the margin of victory.

Necci said he will begin preparing for his new job.

"My immediate plans are to prepare myself for that role," Necci said. "Of course, I'm not the District Attorney at this point, I understand that. But I will be preparing myself as quickly as possible."

Harvey was contacted, but declined to comment.

Heading into the election, Necci, touted endorsements from several local Republican officials. He was endorsed by the Walworth County Republican Party.

Necci also was backed by State Rep. Tyler August and former Walworth County District Attorney David Danz. The Regional News received letters supporting him from Kim Travis, a leader of the Republican Party, and Williams Bay Village President John Marra.

He was also endorsed by members of law enforcement including Walworth County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Hausner and Walworth Police Chief Chris Severt.

The opening for the job came after long-term District Attorney Phillip Koss didn't seek re-election. Koss successfully ran for Walworth County Circuit Court Judge, a seat he took Aug. 1. Since then, Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube has run the ship.

Koss had served as District Attorney for more than two decades, and prior to that the job was held by Danz. Former Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Robert Kennedy held the job before Danz.

Koss, Kennedy and Danz came through the ranks of the office before reaching the top seat. A person who didn't rise through the ranks hasn't won the seat since the late 1970s.

During the election, Necci talked about his family life. He is married and has two young children.

"As the next DA, I will not only be defending the people of Walworth County, but defending my own children and the kids on my own block," he said during an interview at the Regional News office in July.

For the past 2 1/2 years Necci has owned his own practice, which is located in Elkhorn. His case work has varied from criminal defense to civil litigation.

Prior to owning his own practice, Necci worked for Seymour, Kramer, Koch & Lochowicz LLP. At that firm Necci said he gained experience in a wide area of legal work and got to know Walworth County.

Register of Deeds

With 97 percent of the votes counted, it was a lot closer in the primary race for Walworth County Register of Deeds.

However, Donna Pruess, the only candidate with experience in the office, edged out her opponents in the primary.

Pruess said she decided to seek the seat after her boss, Connie Woolever, announced her retirement. Pruess has been a county employee since 1980.

In the November general election, Pruess will face off against Susan Finster, who is running as a Democrat.

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