Former Dane County Sup. Richard Brown officially announced his candidacy for Madison mayor Dec. 10 at noon, standing in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue downtown.
He kicked off his campaign with some ambitious promises, including 75 new full-time equivalent positions in his first three years and getting 200 homeless people off the streets in his first 100 days. His platform centers on holding the line on taxes, jobs and economic factors, reducing disparities and housing.
“I am running for mayor because I believe with all my heart that we can come together as a city and solve these problems,” Brown said. “When we struggle together for a common cause, we are better. We are all better.”
Brown previously said the race was missing a person of color and is the only non-white candidate to date. He is joining current Mayor Paul Soglin, Ald. Scott Resnick, former Ald. Bridget Maniaci and Christopher Daly. Brandon Barwick, who filed paperwork to run, has pulled out of the race.
Brown said Mayor Paul Soglin, the City Council and city staff are not succeeding in working together, pointing to the council and mayor’s conflicts over the budget, racial disparities and continuing issues with homelessness.
“Confidence in city government is at an all-time low,” Brown said.
Brown said voters have a choice in the spring election: accept politics as usual or come together and say, “not this time.”
Dane County Equal Opportunity director Isadore Knox introduced Brown, listing his experience in county government, his role as chair of Personnel and Finance and his work with housing in the county and Madison.
“You really do need to have someone that is familiar with working with government agencies,” Knox said, “and Richard really does have all of those qualifications.”
Brown served three terms on the Dane County Board, has served on the Dane County Housing Authority, has worked with various community programs and received the Rev. James C. Wright Human Rights Award in 2011. Brown now works as a systems accountant for Dane County.
“Richard believes in community. Richard believes in people,” said Sup. Shelia Stubbs, who served with him on the County Board.
“He’s very creative at solutions,” she said.
The mayoral race began heating up last week as candidates started to hold events and distribute flyers. Resnick held an event Dec. 9 to discuss a more innovative and inclusive Madison and Maniaci is holding an “Art & Politics Happy Hour” Wednesday.
The deadline for filing in the non-partisan race is Jan. 6, 2015. The spring primary election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 17, and the two candidates with the most votes will go on to the general election on Tuesday, April 7.
Though Brown is joining the race later than most candidates this year, he is moving forward at full speed.
“I will run this race that I have been ordained to run,” Brown said, wearing a tie with “Jesus” scrawled across it. “No matter how hard it gets, I will not quit.” ￼
I will run this race that I have been ordained to run. No matter how hard it gets, I will not quit.” Richard Brown, candidate for mayor