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ELECTION 2011: Politics was part of family life in the Ladwig household

ELECTION 2011: Politics was part of family life in the Ladwig household

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CALEDONIA - County executive candidate Jim Ladwig remembers his parents driving back and forth from Madison, where they were legislators, to go to his football and basketball games.

His parents, Jim and Bonnie Ladwig, both served at different times as representatives of the 63rd Assembly District, which is contained in Racine County.

At the time, Ladwig said, he never thought he would end up in politics.

Now, he has years of experience in both the public and private sector to help guide him.

He graduated from Horlick High School in 1989. Then after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1993, he got his first job with the Caledonia Police Department.

"I went right from graduation to the Police Department," Ladwig said.

He was there for 12 years. During those years he also started working in real estate and bought his own company, Mulligan's Mini Golf, 6633 Douglas Ave.

His experience in real estate and at Mulligan's gave him a chance to see a more positive side to people than he saw in law enforcement, he said. That experience in business and real estate eventually led to him running for Racine County register of deeds in 2004 and he was sworn in January 2005.

Since he took that position in 2005, he has increased efficiency and reduced costs 10 percent in his department, he said.

He said he is ready to lead the entire county.

"I think the county needs someone who is going to be a strong leader, make tough decisions, yet be fair," Ladwig said. "I think I'm the person who can take us to that next level."

But for people who have asked if this is a steppingstone to the legislative position his parents held, his answer is: "No, no, no ... I love local government because that is where things get done."

The election is April 5.

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