I refrained from using Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's nickname that Stu Levitan hates so much because I would greatly appreciate the venerable Madison historian's response to the following question:
Is there a precedent for a Madison mayor winning the support of two previous general election opponents in a re-election bid?
Cieslewicz' first opponent, Paul Soglin, endorsed his re-election in 2007. His opponent from that race, Ray Allen, is now hosting fundraisers to support his re-election next spring.
Meanwhile, voices all around the community display the shifting political coalition behind the mayor. The conservative (by Madison standards) State Journal lauds him for moving to the right, while the Capital Times lauds his character but points out that it often disagrees with him.
Meanwhile, almost all criticism of Cieslewicz comes from the left. Brenda Konkel is the leading voice in that regard, but even Noel Radomski concentrated on establishing higher standards of public services in his announcement last week. Many of the mayor's former liberal supporters criticize him in private, lamenting his devotion to the Edgewater and the tough tone he has taken with some progressive critics.
And yet, Madison progressives find themselves largely helpless in their search for a viable opponent to the mayor. The Democratic establishment is united behind Cieslewicz, as his presser demonstrated. He was introduced by Mark Pocan, and was flanked by Scott McDonell, Joe Parisi and other area liberals.