Paul Soglin wins by less than 1000 votes. Incredible. I didn't feel very strongly about either candidate, but in the end, I voted for Mayor Dave. I don't quite understand what Paul Soglin is going to do differently, but I hope that he is as committed to reducing poverty as mayor as he was as a candidate.
The big winner last night on the Council were the Dane County Dems and the mainstream center-left forces in the city.
First, they picked up seats from conservatives in the 1st and 20th districts, where Lisa Subeck and Matt Phair replaced libertarian Jed Sanborne and the...eccentric (?) Thuy Pham-Remmele. The Council may no longer be entertaining without Thuy, but it will certainly run smoother.
Second, they held back PD challenges in Districts 2, District 8 and District 13. Hence, the Progressive Dane caucus on the Council will remain limited to three or four members, depending on what becomes of Ald. Brian Solomon, who was denied the endorsement of the Dane Dems in January over a pending criminal investigation he faces.
However, no discussion of power in the Council can take place before we fully understand how the new mayor will interact with the alders. Will Soglin establish the close working relationship with Council President Mark Clear that Cieslewicz did? Perhaps he will seek out somebody else to advance his agenda.
Furthermore, it will be interesting to see if Soglin is able to maintain good relations with some of the people in and around government who supported him because of their opposition to Cieslewicz. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on Brenda Konkel, to see just how long she'll give Soglin a break because he took down her biggest enemy in Madison.
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