A local politico said to me recently: "I'm getting political fatigue. I'm so tired of politics I don't even care who wins in the 48th."
Yeah, I haven't paid too much attention to the race, which features nearly every Democrat on the east side competing to fill the seat Joe Parisi vacated when he became county executive. I really have no idea who has the edge, and it's hard to guess because there are so many candidates.
A couple observations about the race, however:
Notice how in Joe Tarr's rundown of the candidates, all but one touts a union endorsement, and all have sought and received labor endorsements. Union support is always good in Democratic primaries, but it has become especially relevant in post-protest Madison.
This is a feature of campaigns that I do not think will be replicated in other parts of the state, where many Democrats are starting to downplay the issue of unions. In fact, it doesn't look like any Democrat in a recall race is mentioning the issue of collective bargaining on their campaign websites.
Ideally, the 48th race should demonstrate the priorities of the base of the Democratic Party. For that reason, all of the candidates position themselves as fighters who will keep the party progressive and aggressive (I better trademark that). That means criticizing other Democrats, as well as the Doyle administration.
If there is one candidate who keeps it real, it's Andy Heidt. I don't know if I'd vote for him, but I'd definitely pay to hear him speak before any of the other candidates. Not only is he blunt on some controversial issues (on immigration: "Amnesty, we're a nation of immigrants.") but he also has new ideas an unusual asset for a legislative candidate.
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