Spring 2014 Election Recap

Victories for Progressive Candidates, Concerns for Community Involvement

Written by Matt Kozlowski, Treasurer

Over the course of the past several months, Dane County finished up another County elections cycle. However, if you didn’t notice, we can hardly hold it against you given the lack of candidates on the ballot--more on that later. Before examining other aspects of this election cycle, let’s take a look at the results. 

Progressive Dane Endorsed Races:
D2: Heidi Wegleitner, Incumbent (Unopposed)
D4: Kyle Richmond, Incumbent (Unopposed)
D6: John Hendrick, Incumbent (Unopposed)
D11: Al Matano, Incumbent (Unopposed)
D18: Michele Ritt (Unopposed)

D5: Leland Pan, Incumbent - WINNER! (279 Votes, 54.7%)
       - Opponent: Chris Hoffman (223 Votes, 43.7%)
D27: Dorothy Krause, Incumbent - WINNER! (528 Votes, 58.1%)
       - Opponent: Patrick Stern (377 Votes, 41.5%)

Other Contested Races:
D21: Andrew Schauer - Winner (834 Votes, 60.7%)
D22: Maureen McCarville, Incumbent - Winner (1003 Votes, 56.8%)
D28: Abigail Wuest - Winner (1541 Votes, 56.6%)
D30: Patrick Downing - Winner (1361 Votes, 66.6%)
D32: Mike Willett - Winner (1770 Votes, 58.3%)

Of the seven contested races for County Board, six went to the Progressive Dane or New Citizens candidate. On behalf of the Party, thanks to all of the volunteers, campaign staffers, candidates, and supporters who helped make these victories possible!

However, despite our great degree of success in this election cycle, one concerning fact remains: of the 37 Supervisors up for election, only 7 faced challengers. Without further study, it is difficult to say why so few challengers arose during this cycle, but it stands to reason that the public should be much more interested and invested in the course of local government. In Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, local governments struggle to raise enough resources to provide adequate services, efforts to protect our environment are repeatedly usurped, corporate interests continue to take precedence above public interests, and our ability to end racial and economic disparities has become increasingly more difficult.

Now, perhaps more than ever, is the time for more involvement in local governance, not less. We need more advocates pushing government in the right direction; more researchers examining new solutions to our continuing problems; more grassroots candidates debating the issues; and more organizers going door-to-door getting people involved in the process.