RACINE COUNTY — Former Racine County Clerk Joan Rennert announced Monday that she is withdrawing her name for consideration for appointment as county register of deeds.

The deadline to apply for consideration for the post is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. Tyson Fettes, the current register of deeds, announced earlier this month he is stepping down from the position to work in the private sector, as Burlington market president for Community State Bank.

Fettes’ last day of work with the county is Friday. He has served as register since 2011, when he was appointed by then Gov. Scott Walker. Fettes was elected to the post in 2012 and re-elected in 2016.

Gov. Tony Evers will appoint someone to finish out the year left in Fettes’ term.

Rennert, who served as county clerk from 1987 until 2008, said that after looking into the position’s salary and insurance, she said it would be better for her to not pursue the register of deeds post.

“When I figured out what I got paid per month and what I paid for insurance it just didn’t make sense,” Rennert said adding being part of the state insurance was the biggest motivator for her to take her name out of consideration. “I like (the insurance) I have now.”

The position pays about $76,000 per year.

Rennert said it would be better for her to find a different job.

“I really do want to go back to work,” Rennert said. “I don’t like retirement.”

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Other than Rennert, no one has publicly come forward to announce their intent to apply for the position.

After Fettes’ announcement, all of the county’s Republican state legislators and county elected officials, except County Clerk Wendy Christensen, co-signed a letter to Evers, a Democrat, asking that a Republican be appointed to the post. Rennert served as a Democrat during her years in office.

Andrew Rosenberg, chairman of the Republican Party of Racine County, said party officials would prefer for a conservative to be in the office, “I just don’t think we have formal plans set in stone yet.”

“I don’t think anyone has come forward yet with interest in it,” Rosenberg said, adding he is not sure how likely it is for Evers to appoint a Republican to the position.

Rosenberg said Fettes did well in the position and “we were really happy with the way the office was run.”

“When Tyson ran (the office), it was always easy for the attorneys in town to get things recorded,” Rosenberg said. “And we hope that the next person, whoever they are, runs it for the benefit of Racine and the taxpayers.”

Meg Andrietsch, chairman of the Democratic Party of Racine County, said her party is currently concentrating its energies on the April 30th special election for the 64th Assembly District between Democrat Thaddeus “Tip” McGuire of Somers and Republican Mark Stalker of Kenosha.

The special election is taking place after the district’s former representative, Democrat Peter Barca, stepped down to become secretary of revenue in the Evers administration.

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Journal Times Local Editor Pete Wicklund contributed to this report.



Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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