By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 15, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Though Scott Walker still technically has the job, not many candidates have officially emerged to replace him when he leaves his post as Milwaukee County Executive to become Governor of Wisconsin.

Rumors, though, have started swirling that local philanthropist Chris Abele is considering entering the race in the spring election.

Abele, 43, moved to Milwaukee 17 years ago and currently leads the Argosy Foundation, which has donated substantial amounts of money to groups supporting arts, culture and humanities, education, the environment, health and human services, international and foreign affairs, public and social benefit and contemporary classical music.

Abele is the CEO of the Argosy Foundation and also serves on a number of other local boards.

One political insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity said that he, too, had heard Abele mentioned as a potential dark horse, should State Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) or former State Rep. Sheldon Wasserman (D-Milwaukee) choose not to enter the race.

Abele would be an outside-the-box choice for the non-partisan position; he'd be able to privately finance his campaign and some insiders suggest he'd refrain from accepting a salary.

Abele did not return an e-mail or voicemail on Wednesday.

According to a 2005 interview with's Molly Snyder, Abele came to Milwaukee via Lawrence University in Appleton. After relocating here, he also relocated his foundation, which had been based in Boston.

Walker will step down from his post on Dec. 27, at which time County Board Chairman Lee Holloway will take over as acting county executive; a position he will hold for 30 days at which point he must appoint an interim county executive to serve until the spring elections.

Holloway has said he hasn't ruled out naming himself the interim county executive and is believed to be interested in running for the position.

Earlier Wednesday, State Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) announced his candidacy for the position.