Brenda Konkel, former Tenant Resource Center director, drops out of Madison mayoral race

January 2, 2019

Homeless advocate and former director of the Tenant Resource Center, Brenda Konkel, dropped out of the Madison mayoral race Wednesday.

Konkel announced her decision in a Facebook post, calling the decision “soul crushing.”

Candidates had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file their campaign paperwork for the April election. Seven mayoral candidates have filed initial paperwork as of Wednesday afternoon.

Konkel had announced her intentions to run in August, but in the time since had been fired from her position as the Tenant Resource Center executive director, which she had held for more than 20 years.

With time and energy spent appealing the decision of the center’s board to fire her, Konkel said, she couldn’t put together a “viable campaign” for this race.

“There was too much indecision for too long,” Konkel said told the State Journal.

Konkel was fired by the board Oct. 26 for alleged financial mismanagement. Konkel has disputed those claims. At a Nov. 26 meeting, the board and Konkel agreed to enter mediation conducted by a volunteer mediator for the center.

That mediation has ended, Konkel said, but the agreement is still being finalized. She said she could not comment further on the mediation.

Konkel said she is not endorsing anyone at this time. She said she wants a candidate with progressive policies to be elected and to keep promises made during the campaign.

“I hope whoever wins this race will be a really bold leader for the next four years,” Konkel said.

Konkel said she does know what she will do next, but she said she will likely run for another public office in the future.

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