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Shelia Stubbs

Shelia Stubbs

 

 

Shelia Stubbs, a Dane County Board supervisor, will be the first African-American elected to the state Legislature from Dane County following her primary win Tuesday for Assembly District 77.

The winner of the Democratic primary secured the seat — representing Madison’s South, Southwest and West sides as well as the UW-Madison campus and Shorewood Hills — since no Republican or independent challenger is running for the office.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Stubbs garnered 49.8 percent of the vote, according to Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell.

The other candidates in Tuesday’s primary were Mark Garthwaite, John Imes and Shabnam Lotfi.

Rep. Terese Berceau announced her retirement earlier this year, opening up the district’s seat for the first time in 20 years.

Stubbs, on the Dane County Board since 2006, championed criminal justice reforms on the board — including diversion programs like the Community Restorative Court for young, first-time offenders — and introduced legislation that required all county employees and elected officials to receive sexual harassment training.

“I’m definitely going to continue to address racial disparities and criminal justice reforms,” Stubbs said. She said the state shouldn’t “needlessly” funnel money into prisons and instead should direct funding toward education and schools.

Stubbs had the backing of several elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and McDonell. About half the County Board, eight City Council members and three Madison School Board members also endorsed her.

Without a challenger to campaign against, Stubbs said she will lend her support to Democrats seeking election across the state.

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Shelley K. Mesch is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She earned a degree in journalism from DePaul University.