Marc Eisen recently commented on the mayor's the inevitable candidacy and frontrunner status in the 2011 Spring elections. Eisen is clearly a skeptic of the mayor's priorities, and hopes a candidate who better-understands city planning and prioritizes city investments differently.
So who is a viable candidate to challenge the incumbent?
Although I've prodded her in the past on the subject, Brenda Konkel probably knows she her chances of beating Mayor Dave are slim-to-nothing, especially in light of her losing re-election to the Council last year. She may know more about city government than anybody, but really, what does that matter on the campaign trail?
I have heard rumblings about the following characters: former Alds. Ken Golden and Noel Radomski.
Golden has made some pretty pointed remarks about the mayor's approach to development:
"The mayor is basically ducking the issue, saying the process is broken," Golden said. "Well, maybe the mayor is broken."
Hmm..that would be something a guy who wants to be the "unbroken" mayor would say. And yes, I do fully anticipate the commenter who says "maybe it just sounds like a guy who cares a lot about his city." Yes, it could be that too.
Radomski is the head of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of post-Secondary Education. Like Golden, he has criticized the mayor over development, as well as the declining influence of neighborhood associations.
"I believe the mayor does not understand or at least does not appreciate how neighborhoods have made Madison what it is today. We have to stop listening to what he says and look at what he does."
Another suggestion that I've heard is Sonia Newenhouse, president of Madison Environmental Group and Community Car. There is a little speculation that that was who Marc Eisen was referring to at the end of his column.
Given Madison's political realities, that imperative best translates to a mayoral challenger who's a businessperson with unimpeachable liberal credentials. If she's cool and funny, that would help, too.
She might even win.
I've never met Newenhouse, so I am in no position to judge whether she is cool or funny. Environmentalism is cool. That's all I know
Any thoughts? Any anonymous tips or rumors are welcome in my email inbox.