April 3rd was election day in Wisconsin for non-partisan local offices. Five Wisconsin Greens were running for re-election, two were running as challengers, and all seven won their County Board races.
In Dane County, home of Madison, Wisconsin, Kyle Richmond & John Hendrick ran unopposed for re-election to the County Board of Supervisors. Hendrick has been on the County Board since 2000, Richmond was first elected in 2002.
Leland Pan, a student at the University of Wisconsin, ran for the County Board district that represents most of the campus. Pan won his race with 54% of the vote, 207-171. Leland Pan is a young social justice activist, from supporting the gay-straight alliance in high school to fighting for labor rights in college. He is an organizer for the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC), a member of the Campus Solidarity Committee, and Student Council of Associated Students of Madison (ASM) and active on the ASM Legislative Committee. Leland Pan became involved in the Wisconsin Green Party through Ben Manski’s State Assembly race in 2010.
In the upper northwestern part of the state, Kathy Kienholz faced a challenger to her re-election bid for the Polk County Board of Supervisors. Kathy was first elected in 2008, and was re-elected in 2010. Kathy won her re-election by just 11 votes, 150-139. Kienholz had been an active member of the St. Croix Valley Green Party since 2003. Kienholz has served on the County’s Finance Committee and the Land & Water Committee, both of which suit her strengths as a CPA and as an advocate for sustainability.
In northern Douglas County Wisconsin, David Conley ran unopposed for re-election to the County Board. Conley was first elected in 1986 and at 26 years is the longest continuously serving Green in office nationwide. His tenure in office pre-dates the Wisconsin Green Party, which was organized two years later in 1988.
In Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Ron Hardy ran unopposed for a seat on the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors, representing District 17 in the heart of the city. Hardy became involved with the Lake Winnebago Green Party in 2004, was co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party from 2006-2008, and served as Chair of the City of Oshkosh Sustainability Board in 2009-10. Hardy had previously ran for Oshkosh City Council in 2010 and 2011, winning 1,666 votes the first year and 4,562 votes the second year. In 2012, after County Board districts were redrawn following the census, Hardy found himself in a District without a candidate and stepped up to run for the seat. Hardy won 377 votes versus 6 write-in votes.
Greg David won re-election to the Jefferson County Board in East Central Wisconsin. David has been actively promoting the Natural Step for Communities, a movement that has been growing across Wisconsin. He spoke at the Wisconsin Green Party’s Summer Gathering in August 2007 at which the Party officially endorsed the Natural Step and the Eco-Municipality movement throughout Wisconsin.
There are now currently 10 Wisconsin Greens serving in elected office. Over 50 Greens have been elected to office in Wisconsin over the last 20 years.