When Mary Kay Baum ran for mayor in 1987, she surprised many by outpolling the incumbent, Joe Sensenbrenner, in the primary. While she lost the general election, it was a testament to the deep respect people in the community - especially active and engaged citizens, like those who vote in primaries - have for Mary Kay.
She's been a wife, mother, lawyer, County Board supervisor, school board member, manager of United Neighborhood Centers, an ordained Lutheran minister and director of Madison Urban Ministries. Following her own probable diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's a few years back, Baum has become a leading advocate for research, treatment and understanding.
Even here, her impact has been uplifting. "Her message," Isthmus wrote, "is that people can not just survive the disease, they can thrive with it."