Progressive Dane just announced its support for Green Party candidate Ben Manski in the 77th Assembly District. No surprise here Manski was a former leader in the group. However, with Brett Hulsey as the Democratic nominee, it was unlikely that Progressive Dane was not going to endorse a third party candidate. A look around the blogosphere displays the suspicion and outright contempt many on the Madison left have for the veteran of the County Board.
The most important endorsement Hulsey has won comes from The Sierra Club, for whom he used to work. In its supports for him over the Green Candidate, Hulsey has a good counter to Manski's characterization of him as a special interest hack, especially with regards to his work for Alliant Energy.
What will be interesting to see is how former supporters of Hesselbein act in the race. Sup. Al Matano, who is supported by both the Democrats and Progressive Dane, is the only one to endorse Manski yet. Others, such as student-area Ald. Bryon Eagon, Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and Sup. Analiese Eicher, who was Hesselbein's campaign manager, are loyal Democrats, and will probably endorse Hulsey. What will Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway do? I would guess she supports Manski, if anybody at all.
Although Progressive Dane does not require a "blood oath," as one PD member put it, members of the County Board and Council who only affiliate with it and not the Dems will likely support Manski. Ald. Marsha Rummel, for instance, as well as County Board Sup. Barb Vedder.
An endorsement that would be meaningful but that likely nobody is going to get is that of Ald. Mike Verveer. A PD/Dem, Verveer tends to stay out of primaries and fights between his two parties. He is easily the most influential alder on campus. In addition to his reputation for helping kids out, he has the ear of the campus press, who uses him on a near-daily basis in its coverage of city affairs.
Also notably are the non-endorsements from left-leaning organizations. For instance, as Peter Rickmann so kindly shared below, AFT voted not to endorse. The League of Conservation Voters have also chosen to stay out of the race.
I would guess Manski needs a near-monopoly on progressive endorsements to be competitive in the race. That is unlikely to happen, however, since few progressive leaders see Hulsey as so unacceptable that they need to campaign forcefully against him. Moreover, while there is plenty of resentment for Hulsey, Manski has made enemies in the locale as well. Hence, many of Hesselbein's former supporters will likely remain silent.