On Tuesday, Madison voters will narrow the fields for Madison mayor, four City Council districts and the School Board in a primary election.
Six candidates — Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mo Cheeks, Raj Shukla, Toriana Pettaway and Nick Hart — are challenging incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin. Pettaway is running as a write-in candidate and her name will not appear on the ballot Tuesday.
All City Council seats are up for election this spring, but just four — Districts 3, 12, 13 and 15 — feature primary races. Nine candidates are running for three at-large seats on the Madison School Board. The top two candidates with the most votes in each election will appear on the general election ballot April 2.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone in line at 8 p.m. gets to vote. Find out where you should vote on the Madison City Clerk’s office website.
To vote, registered voters must offer a photo ID, which can include a Wisconsin driver’s license or a passport. Voters who are registering on Election Day must provide a proof of residence, either in paper or electronic format, and can include a utility bill issued within the last 90 days, a paycheck or residential lease.
The 2019 Madison mayor’s race stands out in terms of in the amount of money candidates are raising and reflects a continuing trend of sophisticated campaigns. In total, the six candidates have raised $453,365, which surpasses the $180,324 raised by five candidates in the 2015 election.
Over three stints, Soglin has served as mayor for 22 years. He most recently has served eight years over two consecutive terms. Soglin announced in July he would not run for re-election but later changed his mind.
Rhodes-Conway is a former alder and is currently the managing director of the Mayors Innovation Project at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. Cheeks is the current alder for District 10 and the executive director of business development at MIOsoft, a Madison-based data quality software company.
Shukla is the executive director of the River Alliance of Wisconsin and the chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee. Pettaway works for the city as the racial equity coordinator. Hart is a local comedian.
Whoever is ultimately successful would make history.
If re-elected, Soglin would achieve an incredible tenure. If voters go a different direction, they could elect Cheeks as the first African-American mayor or Shukla as the first Indian-American mayor. Rhodes-Conway would be the second woman to serve as mayor and the first to be openly gay. Pettaway would be the first African-American woman. Hart would be the first comedian to lead the city.
Candidates have appeared at numerous forums and debates marked by high turnout. More than 600 people attended a Cap Times forum at the Barrymore Theatre on Jan. 8 and over 400 returned a week later for a forum dedicated to arts issues.
About 400 people attended a candidate forum at the First Unitarian Society Saturday, which was the last time candidates shared a stage ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Mike Cerro, Lindsay Lemmer and Jared Schumacker are vying for the east side District 3 seat. The seat is currently vacant after former alder Amanda Hall moved out of the district and resigned earlier this month.
On the city’s northeast side, Syed Abbas, Diane Farsetta, Lydia Maurer and Mark-Anthony Whitaker are running to replace Ald. Larry Palm in District 12. A fifth candidate, James Stansfield, is on the ballot but dropped out of the race.
Four candidates — Tag Evers, David Hoffert, Justin Kirchen and Lee Lazar — are looking to represent District 13 on the city’s near west side. The district is currently represented by Ald. Allen Arntsen, who replaced former alder Sara Eskrich after she left mid-term.
Madison School Board
Voters who live in the Madison Metropolitan School District attendance area will be able to vote for any and all of the seats up for election on the School Board. All nine candidates made their case to voters at a forum Feb. 5.
Cris Carusi and Kaleem Caire are running for Seat 3. A third candidate, Skylar Croy, dropped out of the race, but his name will still appear on Tuesday’s ballot.
Four candidates — David Blaska, Ali Muldrow, Laila Borokhim and Albert Bryan — are running for Seat 4. Ananda Mirilli and Amos Roe are challenging TJ Mertz for Seat 5.