Hakes will face Kowalczyk for Chippewa County Sheriff


Aug. 10 – CHIPPEWA FALLS – Part-time Cornell police officer Travis Hakes won a narrow victory over Lake Hallie Armory owner Dan Marcon for the Republican nomination for Chippewa County Sheriff.

Merlu obtained 52% of the votes, with 339 votes ahead of Marcon.

The victory means Hakes qualifies for the general election to face Democratic candidate Chris Kowalczyk for the open seat. Kowalczyk had no Democratic opponent on Tuesday.

The current sheriff, Jim Kowalczyk, turned 66 in April and is not seeking re-election; he will retire in January at the end of his term. Jim Kowalczyk is the Democratic candidate’s older brother.

Although neither Hakes nor Marcon currently work full-time as officers or deputies, they both have law enforcement training. Hakes has worked for several law enforcement agencies in western Wisconsin.

Marcon worked as a correctional officer for 14 years at Stanley Correctional Institution and Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Center before opening his indoor shooting range, Marc-On Shooting Indoor Range, Pro Shop & Training Center, in 2016 Marcon served in the United States Navy. from 1990 to 1993, including two tours in the Persian Gulf.

Hakes, 35, from Tilden, started in law enforcement in 2006. He previously worked as a reserve officer with the Lake Hallie Police Department and later served as Elk Mound Police Chief before moving to joining the Chetek Police Department in 2017. Hake ran for the 67th State Assembly seat in 2016, but lost in the primary to eventual winner Rob Summerfield. In addition to serving at Cornell, Hakes is a realtor. He is also a certified concealed weapons instructor. He ran for sheriff in 2018 but lost.

When Marcon, 49, announced his candidacy in February, he told the crowd that if elected he would be a ‘constitutional sheriff’, meaning he would not enforce the laws he deems illegal. For example, he would not require his officers, or anyone in the county, to get vaccinated. He has also spoken out openly against the measures taken during the pandemic to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Marcon is from the Birchwood area and graduated from Birchwood High School in 1990. He holds an associate degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Hakes is a single father of one son. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Chippewa Valley Technical College.


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