In a hotly contested contest in Madison’s District 2, Brenda Konkel appears to have lost to challenger Bridget Maniaci by just 62 votes. The final (unofficial) tally is Maniaci: 962 (51.3%), Konkel: 900 (48.0%).
Both Maniaci and Konkel came out of a five way primary in February in a race that has been billed as a challenge to Brenda Konkel’s influence on the Madison Common Council and her willingness to challenge “progressive” Mayor Dave Cieslewicz on a number of issues. Mayor Cieslewicz had kept no secrets about his desire to see Konkel replaced on the Common Council, and Bridget Maniaci is a former intern for the Mayor. It is nearly impossible to tell if the late negative campaigning by the Maniaci Campaign had an impact or not.
“We stayed positive. We didn’t go negative,” she said from a gathering at the Avenue Bar. “I didn’t want to win under those circumstances.” (source)
Two other Madison Green Party candidates, Marsha Rummel and Satya Rhodes-Conway, ran unopposed and were re-elected to the Common Council.
In Wisconsin April 7 is Election Day for local elections. Spring Elections in Wisconsin are non-partisan.
One race deserves special mention – Pete Karas is running for Mayor of Racine in a special election to fill the position vacated when the former mayor resigned amid charges of child enticement and child pornography. There are 11 candidates on the ballot in this special election primary, and the top two vote getters will square off on May 5 in a general election.This race is anyone’s guess, there is no front runner, there is no polling data.
Wisconsin Candidates on the ballot April 7:
Pete Karas, Mayor of Racine (Special Election Primary)
This fresh video from the Konkel Campaign is a montage of supporters speaking about why they are backing Brenda Konkel and how affective she is as the Common Council representative for District 2 in Madison. Note Green Electeds Barbara Vedder (Dane County Board) and Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison Common Council) speak as well as John Stauber, founder of the Center for Media & Democracy & author of Weapons of Mass Deception.
Mark Pocan, one of the most progressive members of the Wisconsin State Assembly, has endorsed Brenda Konkel (Green Party) in her race for re-election to the Madison Common Council (video below). Pocan has been a ‘Green friendly’ legislator in Wisconsin, even seeking Green Party input into a clean elections bill he was working on last year.
The endorsement is big for Konkel as Pocan lives in her district and is very well liked in progressive circles (i.e. everywhere) in Madison.
If you are in Madison between now and April 7 consider stopping by one of these great campaign events for the Brenda Konkel campaign:
* Friday, March 20th: Come to the Brink Lounge (701 E. Washington) from 5-7pm for a fundraiser and also to tape your own video endorsement message of Brenda! (Don’t you want to be just like Mark Pocan?!)
* Sunday, March 22nd: Camelot Apartments House Party 1-3pm at the Camelot Clubhouse, hosted by Betty Banks & Cynthia Graham.
* Saturday, March 28th, 4-6pm: Party at at Bill Whitford’s house, 1047 Sherman Ave featuring the world premiere performance of an ORIGINAL song written for Brenda by Madison’s own singer/songwriter extraordinaire Peter Leidy.
*Sunday, March 29th, 1:30-3:30 House Party at Joe Lusson’s house, 627 E. Gorham.
Also please consider dropping Brenda a few dollars for her campaign. She is running against a candidate with some establishment backing and money and Brenda is relying solely on the contributions of individuals to help her get re-elected.
Wisconsin’s non-partisan Spring primaries led to three Greens advancing to the April 7 general election and two being defeated.
Brenda Konkel finished first in her primary for Madison City Council Dist. 2 with 40.44 percent of the vote. She will face challenger Bridget Maniaci on April 7, who finished with 26.90 percent. Maniaci was an intern in the office of Mayor Cieslewicz, who has shown no love for Brenda Konkel. Expect this race to be high profile and expensive.
Katrina Flores finished third in her race for Madison City Council Dist 8, falling just 7 votes short of second place. This student district had very low turnout, with just over 500 votes cast. Unless there is a recount, Flores will not be moving on to the General Election.
In Oshkosh, two Greens were on the same ballot for three at large seats on the Oshkosh City Council. Seven candidates were reduced to six in the primary, and the top three vote getters on April 7 will be seated on the City Council. Incumbent and outspoken Green Party member Tony Palmeri came in first place with 2,027 votes, 400 more than the next closest, incumbent Jess King. Bob Poeschl, former co-chair of the Wisconsin Green Party and past candidate for this office came in third place with 1,385 votes. All three will move on to the General Election on April 7, along with challengers John Hinz (1,169), Dick O’Day (1,148) and Steve Cummings (1,113).
In the Statewide race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Todd Price was defeated by Deputy Superintendent Tony Evers and Virtual Schools advocate Rosa Fernandez.
Wisconsin’s spring non-partisan primary is today, and turnout state wide is predicted to be lower than normal. There is only one state wide race on the ballot – the Superintendent of Public Instruction, where five candidates are running and two will move on to the April 7 general election.
Local districts including counties, cities and towns have various offices that require primaries as well.
There are 10 Green Party candidates running for office in Wisconsin this spring so far, five of whom have primaries today:
Brenda Konkel – Madison Common Council. Brenda is running for a fourth term on the Council, and this time she has opponents, four of them. Brenda introduced Malik Rahim at the 2008 Green Party Convention in Chicago.
Katrina Flores – Madison Common Council. Flores is a new candidate, endorsed just recently by the Four Lakes Green Party. She is one of four candidates seeking an open seat in the most predominantly student district in Madison. Katrina is a co-founder of the MultiCultural Student Coalition, founder of the Youth Engaged through Language Project, performer and chair of the Women of the Scarred Earth Rising Tide Performance & Popular Education Project and former member of the 2005 Madison Adult National Slam Team.
Tony Palmeri – Oshkosh Common Council. Palmeri is seeking a second term on the council. All seven Council members are elected at large, voters vote for three. There are seven candidates on the ballot, and six will move on to the general election. Tony has been called both a “progressive” and a “cobblestoner”, he is a professor but with a blue collar identity. He has broad support throughout the city, and a few dozen people who despise him.
Bob Poeschl – Oshkosh Common Council. Poeschl has run for the Council before, but never with the enthusiasm and determination that he has this time. Neighborhood empowerment is one of his main themes. He has developed wider support than previous campaigns and is in a good position to be one of the six candidates that move on to the general election. Note: Poeschl and Palmeri are running in the same race. The top three candidates on April 7 will be seated.
Other Wisconsin Green Party candidates running this spring that do not have primaries include Satya Rhodes-Conway (Madison), Marsha Rummel (Madison), Bruce Hinkforth (Oconomowoc), and JoEllen Gramling (Clerk, Town of Schleswig). Pete Karas is running in a special election for Mayor of Racine. This race will have a Primary on April 7, and a “general election” on May 5.
Madison’s so called “progressive” Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has had his issues with popular Common Councilor Brenda Konkel, and this year he sought to recruit a candidate to run against her. Brenda Konkel is involved with both the Green Party and the local party Progressive Dane. Konkel, who has run unopposed for the last two terms, faces four challengers and a February 17 primary. From the Wisconsin State Journal:
“I’ve been somewhat disappointed with Brenda and her approach to issues,” Cieslewicz said. “I’m just looking for some different leadership there.”
The mayor, Konkel said, got active in her district because she stands up on issues and demands transparency when the system is designed to cut deals behind the scenes.
“He felt because I bring things up at the council, I blindside him,” said Konkel, a leader in the leftist political party Progressive Dane who has focused on housing and social justice issues. “He’s a nice guy but he’s cutthroat when it comes to politics. I guess I’m in his way.” Continue Reading →
Madison Common Councilor Brenda Konkel is running for re-election this April. Konkel was first elected to the Madison Common Council in 2001, and was re-elected three times since. Brenda is a well-known and respected Madison community leader and political force, who champions tenant rights, affordable housing and inclusionary zoning ordinances. She served as president of the Madison Common Council in 2004-2005 and today is also the Executive Director of the Tenant Resource Center and on the Board of Directors of the Social Justice Center and Community Shares of Wisconsin. In her spare time, she also helps coordinate the national Green Officeholders Network.
While she has faced no challenger the last two elections, this year there are several potential candidates seeking her seat. Brenda Konkel is a excellent campaigner and has already begun to organize her re-election campaign.
Brenda’s blog “This side of town” keeps her in touch with her constituents and also gives an idea of the deep knowledge she has of Madison municipal affairs.
If you would like to donate to Brenda’s re-election campaign, checks should be made out to Friends of Brenda Konkel and be sent to PO Box 1822 Madison, WI 53701-1822.