By: Allie Johnson
Published in The Badger Herald, 2/7/13
Endorsements continue to roll in as the aldermanic District 8 candidates narrow the focus of their campaigns in preparation of the upcoming City Council elections.
After facing some initial controversy over ballot signatures, Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, and his opponent Christian Hansen are confirmed candidates on the ballot. Over the past few weeks both candidates have honed in on their campaigns and expanded efforts to reach out to members of the district.
Given that District 8 encompasses the majority of the University of Wisconsin campus, from Regent Street to Lake Mendota, both candidates have spent time addressing issues relevant to students in their platforms.
Hansen, a former UW-La Crosse student, cited affordable housing, campus safety and municipal divestment as the top three issues of his campaign.
Regarding campus safety, Hansen said he supported medical amnesty. Often, assaults are not reported because the underage students involved were drinking, he said.
He added it is important for people to understand they are not going to be given a drinking ticket if they were sexually assaulted.
Resnick said one of the main pillars of his platform is establishing a safety policy regarding alcohol. Instead of cracking down on house parties, Resnick emphasized creating a safe drinking environment for students.
“Students have reacted very positively to my policies and points,” Resnick said.
Recently, Hansen received endorsements from the Progressive Dane and Four Lakes Green Party, among others. The groups chose to endorse him because of shared common goals and a shared confidence in his campaign, Hansen said.
Hansen added he is working on contacting additional community organizations and obtaining additional endorsements.
According to Resnick, 18 of the 19 alders announced their endorsements for his campaign last month, and he has recently secured endorsements from a number of union groups. Additionally, Fair Wisconsin, an LGBTQ advocacy group, announced its endorsement Tuesday, Resnick said.
“In many occasions [these organizations] were able to interview both myself and my opponent and after looking at my record and my experience on the council, most unanimously decided I would be the candidate,” Resnick said.
According to Resnick, any endorsement that was sought by both candidates ultimately chose to endorse him.
To advertise his campaign, Hansen said he interacts with members of the district by going door-to-door to talk to neighbors, sending literature through the mail and meeting with student organizations. Student groups and community members expressed their concerns, and picking them up is part of the job, he said.
Hansen expressed optimism regarding the future of his campaign.
“I want to continue to move forward. Building this has been a wonderful thing,” he said.
According to Resnick, he is running his campaign similarly to the last election. Resnick said as the current representative of the district, he will continue to discuss issues pertaining to students.
Resnick said he has interacted with many of the same constituencies he works with regularly, including student organizations, such as the Associated Students of Madison, and other campus leaders.
“I’ve had a fun time getting to re-engage with the district and talk about issues that are important to students,” Resnick said.
Hansen and Resnick will face off in the general election April 2.