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Madison mayoral race grows to seven candidates

September 14, 2018

Seven candidates are vying to become Madison’s next mayor.

Toriana Pettaway is the latest to throw her hat in the ring, announcing on Wednesday she wants to be the person to succeed Mayor Paul Soglin, who has decided not to run for re-election.

Pettaway is the racial equity coordinator for the city and has been in that position since 2015, trying to improve Madison’s racial climate through the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative.

Pettaway told the National Civic League last year that she’s most proud of the passage of a resolution by the City Council to have all department heads, elected officials, agency budget contacts and mayoral staff take racial equity and institutional bias training.

“We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet and still have a ways to go,” Pettaway said.

Pettaway joins a half-dozen candidates already signed in for the mayoral race. The primary is Feb. 19, and the mayoral election is April 2.

Other candidates are:

Former Madison School Board member Michael Flores, who filed candidacy papers with the city clerk this summer. The Madison firefighter and paramedic served a term on the School Board after being elected in 2014 and decided not to run for re-election in 2017.Nick Hart, a local comedian who ribbed the other candidates on his website by saying “One thing for sure, I’ll be the only candidate with a late night TV credit.” He ran for mayor in 2011, getting 2 percent of the primary votes against Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and former Mayor Soglin, who won the election.Raj Shukla, executive director of River Alliance of Wisconsin, who entered the race in July. He chairs the Madison Sustainable Committee and puts climate change, housing and the local transportation system as his priorities.Satya Rhodes-Conway, a former City Council member who currently serves as managing director of the Mayors Innovation Project at UW-Madison’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy. “I think that Madison is a great place to live for most people, but I want to make it a great place to live for everyone,” Rhodes-Conway said when she announced her run for mayor in May.Maurice Cheeks, who has been on the City Council from District 10 since 2013 and announced his candidacy in July. “Mo,” as he likes to be called, also is vice president for business development at MIOsoft, a data consulting company headquartered in Madison.Brenda Konkel, a former City Council member and current executive director of the Tenant Resource Center, who announced her candidacy in July. “I think there’s just a lot of really important issues that aren’t being focused on,” she said. “The Madison I love I want to be the Madison everybody experiences.”

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