Word is that Ald. Thuy Pham-Rammele, a controversial figure who represents a large district on the Madison West Side, will not be running for re-election this spring.
The news may seem unsurprising in light of Dave Glomp's declared candidacy for the seat last month. Glomp, a conservative, told Joe Tarr that he didn't want there to be a vacuum if Thuy decided not to run.
Pham-Rammele (who tells people to call her Alder Thuy), has not made friends in city government since her election to the Council in 2007. If her conservative politics weren't enough to alienate her in a largely liberal chamber, Thuy's tendency to grandstand has often served as an unpleasant test of her colleagues commitment to collegiality and decorum. The breaking point came last month when several alders walked out of Council session -- thereby breaking quorum --in apparent protest of Thuy, who was asking for what they considered to be unnecessary discussion of issues.
Her relations with the Council are bad; her relations with the mayor's office are even worse. Cieslewicz has relegated Thuy to only one city committee, the Vending Oversight Committee, a fact Thuy uses to demonstrate her status as a voice of the people in the face of an arrogant government.
As of now, Thuy is unavailable for comment. When I called her council number, her husband answered and said he would leave it to her to comment.
The result of her exiting the race will be a clear match-up between an ally of Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Matt Phair, and the conservative Glomp. What remains to be seen is the emergence of a progressive anti-Cieslewicz candidate, whether affiliated with Progressive Dane or not. Could Gary Poulson, a former PD member of the Council, who lost to Thuy in 2007, come back?