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Sally Rohrer

Rohrer

A UW-Madison student pursuing her Master's in public affairs got the stamp of approval from a city committee Tuesday to represent a large chunk of the university's campus on the Madison City Council for the next several months. 

The Common Council Executive Committee voted to recommend Sally Rohrer for the open 8th District council seat instead of former Ald. Zach Wood, who represented the district from 2015 to last spring. The City Council still needs to give final approval. 

The 8th District seat was left vacant at the end of September after former Ald. Avra Reddy resigned because of an ongoing illness in her family.

If appointed, Rohrer will serve until the April election. 

A total of five applicants, including Rohrer and Wood, have applied for the open seat. The other candidates are UW students Yogev Ben-Yitschak, Max Prestigiacomo and Amelia Stastney. 

"They were all really great candidates," Ald. Grant Foster, 15th District, said. 

Members of the Executive Committee asked the applicants several questions and scored them based on their answers.

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Rohrer and Wood tied, so the committee heard from the two candidate again on why they wanted to serve the city, then voted. They picked Rohrer on a 4-2 vote. 

Rohrer said she was "really humbled and grateful" that they thought she was the most qualified. 

Rohrer currently serves on several committees of UW's student government, and has worked as an intern for U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, Gov. Tony Evers' campaign and Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. 

Foster said he wanted to find a candidate who would "channel" former Ald. Reddy, and said Rohrer was a good fit. 

In her application letter, Rohrer said her goal would be to "accurately reflect [Reddy's] platform," since that was what residents voted for. 

She said she would focus on environmental sustainability and voter accessibility, especially making it easy for students to get to the polls ahead of the 2020 election. 

"I’m really excited to hit the ground running and get started," Rohrer said. 

The Council is scheduled to vote on whether to appoint Rohrer at its Nov. 5 meeting. 

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Emily Hamer is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She joined the paper in April 2019 and was formerly an investigative reporting intern at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.