MADISON, Wis. -

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi kicked off his spring re-election campaign Thursday with an announcement on the steps of the City-County Building.

"Together we've accomplished a great deal in the past 18 months -- we preserved and strengthened services for our most vulnerable citizens in the face of historic state budget cuts and built new partnerships to do everything from clean up our lakes to help more kids and families succeed both at school and at home," Parisi said in a statement. "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 -- like enhancing economic development; developing more green energy jobs; and bolstering our county's thriving agricultural economy, including our quickly emerging local foods sector -- is successful."

Parisi was elected with 70 percent of the vote in a special election in April 2011 to serve the remaining two years of former County Executive Kathleen Falk's term.  He took office just as state policymakers were advancing a state budget that greatly reduced support for counties and local governments while imposing historic new restrictions on the rights of workers. This resulted in a nearly $8 million deficit for county government that Parisi managed in his first year as county executive, according to a news release from Parisi's campaign.

Through new collaboration between county departments, building budgets on conservative revenue projections, and a gradually improving local economy, Parisi said he has charted a course to solidify Dane County's finances, according to the news release.

The spring primary election is Feb. 19.  The general election is April 2.