The way Mike Basford sees it, "you can thank Scott Walker" for the high number of competitive races for the Dane County Board of Supervisors this spring.
"What he and his friends in the Legislature have done is energize people in every corner of the county," says Basford, chair of the Dane County Democratic Party.
Basford says he's never seen this many competitive races for the county board. "People who have never been inspired to participate in politics, really good people, are now inspired to go out and seek office."
Fifteen of the board's 37 seats are being contested in the April 3 election. But only two of the races will see primaries on Feb. 21.
One is the race to succeed Barbara Vedder, who is not running for reelection, in District 2 in Madison's downtown. Three candidates are vying for the post: Heidi Wegleitner, an attorney at Legal Action of Wisconsin; Adam Plotkin, legislative liaison for the state public defender; and Brian Benford, a former Madison alder.
"The residents in District 2 are getting a primary that everybody in Dane County deserves," Basford says. All of the candidates are Democrats, but the party is not endorsing in the race, he says.
The other primary is to replace Denise Duranczyk, who is not running for reelection, in Stoughton. It features Paul Lawrence, Joshua Butler and Carl Chenoweth.