The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite 14 Madison Common Council races and nine open seats, Tuesday's election changed little. All incumbents were re-elected, even those facing tough challenges.
"I thought I was gonna lose," admits Ald. Robbie Webber. She went to her election night party at the Laurel Tavern "prepared for the worst," but handily defeated Troy Thiel.
Progressive Dane lost only one of its seven seats -- Ald. Austin King's district went for Eli Judge, not Lauren Woods. All the other candidates endorsed by retiring alders won, including the night's biggest surprise: Thuy Pham-Remmele beating former Ald. Gary Poulson in Dist. 20. Pham-Remmele was supported by Ald. Cindy Thomas, who campaigned tirelessly for her. Pham-Remmele's win shocked some of the council's liberal members.
"I have no idea what happened," says Julia Kerr, who was elected in Dist. 13. "Gary would have been a huge asset to the council."
Although there will be nine freshman council members, Susan Schmitz of Downtown Madison Inc. doesn't expect much upheaval. Many of them, she notes, already serve on city committees: "I think they're going to do pretty well, pretty quickly."