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Joe Parisi ascended to the position of Dane County Executive by winning a special election in 2011, when Kathleen Faulk resigned. The spring primary election will be held Feb. 19, 2013.[/media-credit]

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi recently announced the beginning of his reelection campaign in a move he claims will help guarantee the success of his administration’s efforts to clean the environment and provide jobs to county citizens.

In a statement Thursday, Parisi said over the last 18 months, his administration has helped strengthen services for citizens despite state budget cuts, cleaned up lakes and improved education.

“I am running for a full term as your County Executive this April to ensure the important work we have started in these areas and others … is successful,” Parisi said in the statement.

Parisi said in an interview with The Badger Herald he plans to continue his administration’s focus on improving the economic situation in Dane County. He said young people entering the work force do not have a strong job market, and he supports placing effort on creating jobs locally and regionally.

Parisi said his administration has focused on increasing environmental protection and has supported cleaning lakes and expanding bike paths through the area. He said by improving the economy of the area as well as making the area attractive for people to live in, more students will stay in Dane County.

Dane County Board members have also announced their support of Parisi and his policies. Dane County District 18 Supervisor and Democratic candidate for Assembly Melissa Sargent said she is honored to endorse Parisi for his second term.

“He’s doing a great job in tough times,” Sargent said. “He’s a good representation of our community.”

Sargent said Parisi has deep roots in the Madison Community since he grew up in the county and is raising his family here as well. She said he also brings with him a unique history of working in the state legislature and knows how it works.

Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, said he appreciated Parisi’s efforts to protect the environment by cleaning up lakes and helping to keep the process moving forward in addition to protecting disadvantaged families and their children.

“Joe’s been a great county executive and has shown real leadership during these tough times,” Hulsey said.

However, Republican Party of Dane County Chair Mike Herl said while Parisi has kept county roads plowed, he was not impressed. He said under Parisi the county has been spending a $100,000 a day to service debt.

“Eventually, people on the left – and he is one of them – have got to understand it’s not good, and we can’t keep borrowing money,” Herl said. “With that $100,000 a day, we could be providing other county services.”

Parisi won his seat in a special election in 2011, when former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk resigned. He received 70 percent of the vote. The spring primary election will be on Feb. 19, 2013. The general election will be April 2, 2013.