Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas says it's time to "bow out gracefully"

WAUKESHA (WITI) -- Waukesha County will soon have a new sheriff, a new district attorney and now, a new county executive. Long-time County Executive Dan Vrakas is retiring -- and the race to replace him is already underway.

"I just thought it was a really good time to bow out gracefully and hand the baton to the next person," said Vrakas.

The Waukesha County Executive served ten years in office -- and battled prostate cancer for the last year.

"People say 'are you retiring because of your health?'  No, but I'm in good health so maybe I want to enjoy some good health," said Vrakas.

The announcement of Vrakas' retirement touched off a political parlor game. Current County Board Chairman Paul Decker says he's being encouraged to run.

"Certainly with the business background I have and the executive positions I have carried prior to the County Board, it's something I would consider," said Decker.

Also considering a bid is Brian Dorow. He's a well-known figure in Waukesha academia and law enforcement. He told FOX6 News, "I'm taking a look at it, but it's premature."

One prominent Republican lawmaker took his name out of the running. State Representative Dale Kooyenga is the GOP's tax policy expert and a rising star in the State Assembly. In a statement he said, "I can best fight for our values and principles by continued service in the Legislature."

But Paul Farrow is all in. The Republican State Senator from Pewaukee announced his candidacy saying, "We have an opportunity to make Waukesha County the epicenter of economic strength in Wisconsin."

Vrakas says "several people" have called him seeking his support, but he's not ready to make an endorsement yet.