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Washington County DA Candidate Barry Braatz Promises to ‘Hold Criminals Accountable,’ Gets Big Endorsement

barry braatz
Barry Braatz and his family.

“I will work side-by-side with law enforcement to hold criminals accountable” – Barry Braatz.

Barry Braatz, the Fond du Lac County Deputy District Attorney, career prosecutor, and a former Washington County legal intern, is running for Washington County District Attorney, and he’s got some big endorsements out of the gate.

County Executive Josh Schoemann offered his full endorsement of Braatz, along with multiple Republican legislators and Washington County supervisors and other officials:

“Not only does Barry have the proven track record as a front-line prosecutor of being tough on crime and holding criminals accountable, he also shares the same conservative principles and beliefs that we value here in Washington County,” said Schoemann.  “Washington County is only as safe as the leaders we elect.  Barry’s fresh perspective will be an outstanding new energy in the District Attorney’s Office to protect our communities and make our neighborhoods safer.”

Braatz is running to replace outgoing DA Mark Benson, who is not seeking re-election this November.

On Facebook, Schoemann reiterated his support for Barry Braatz, writing, “I am absolutely thrilled to endorse my friend Barry Braatz For Washington County District Attorney! He will bring strong conservative jurisprudence and a fresh new perspective to the Washington County justice system. Please join me in supporting Barry!”

Braatz, a Republican, grew up on a dairy farm and attended Campbellsport High School, Marian University and Marquette University Law School. Braatz served as the campaign manager for the Attorney General campaign of Republican DA Eric Toney. Braatz has also served as a prosecutor in the Racine and Waushara County district attorney’s offices.

“While a prosecutor in Racine County, Barry became heavily involved in the Republican Party of Racine County, as well as many local, state, and federal election campaigns, assisting numerous candidates in grassroots outreach, media strategy & implementation, and fundraising,” the Toney campaign said in 2022, when announcing Braatz’s role as campaign manager for the pro public safety DA.

“Throughout his career, Braatz has demonstrated a commitment to serving communities. He has successfully prosecuted homicides, sexual assaults, drug trafficking, OWIs, and domestic violence,” Braatz said in a news release. “His vision for Washington County centers on implementing aggressive crime prevention strategies, active community engagement, and strong victim advocacy.”

“I am honored to announce my candidacy for Washington County District Attorney, and humbled by the outpouring of support from the community and leaders across Washington County,” said Braatz. “I’ve spent my entire career working to ensure the safety of my family and the families of the communities I serve. I commit to the people of Washington County that I will work side-by-side with law enforcement to hold criminals accountable, support crime victims, and provide safe neighborhoods for all who call Washington County home.”

The following community leaders join Schoemann in endorsing Braatz, according to Braatz’s press release:

Scott Henke, County Treasurer

Jeff Schleif, County Board Supervisor, Chair

Don Kriefall, County Board Supervisor, Chair (former)

Marietta Bailey, County Board Supervisor

Linda Gurath, County Board Supervisor

Denis Kelling, County Board Supervisor

Pamela Konrath, County Board Supervisor

Brian Krebs, County Board Supervisor

Lois Krueger-Gundrum, County Board Supervisor

Carroll Merry, County Board Supervisor

John Schodron, County Board Supervisor

Jodi Schulteis, County Board Supervisor

Michael Schwab, County Board Supervisor

Anne Trautner, County Board Supervisor

Diane Pederson, Village of Richfield, President (former)

Carl Klemme, Town of Wayne, Chair

Nolan Jackett, Hartford Union High School Board

Senator Dan Knodl

Senator Duey Stroebel

Representative Rob Brooks

Representative Rick Gundrum

Representative Paul Melotik

“As the campaign progresses, Braatz looks forward to engaging with constituents, listening to their concerns, and offering transparent leadership rooted in integrity and respect for the law,” Braatz said in the release.

He and his wife, Olivia, have one daughter, and one on the way.  For more information, visit barrybraatz.com.

Prosecutor Mandy Shepper has also announced her candidacy for the position, receiving an endorsement from Benson. She is originally from Two Rivers and has worked in DA’s offices in Washington and Sauk Counties.

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