McDonell: 'I don't think 'public service' is a dirty word.'
As expected, Dane County Board chairman Scott McDonell wasted little time in throwing his hat into the ring for Dane County executive, announcing Monday he's running to replace Kathleen Falk, who is stepping down mid-term.
McDonell was introduced at a press conference on the steps of the City-County Building by state Sen. Fred Risser, who said, "One of the things I like about Scott is when I call him to talk about something, if he's not there, he always calls me back. That's the kind of leadership we want."
McDonell joked in response, "I like how Sen. Risser thinks I'm not calling him back because he's a state senator. Yes, he is my constituent, but I probably call him back a little sooner than most people."
He quickly staked out the territory he'd campaign on -- a pro-government platform, fighting against cuts in services. "I don't think 'public service' is a dirty word. I'm here to defend what we hold dear," he said, listing a clean environment, strong human service programs and mass transportation among them.
When McDonell will run is unclear. Falk had resigned last week, intending to stay in office until a replacement can be elected in April. But the Government Accountability Board says that an election for the position can't be called until Falk actually resigns. McDonell said the election would either be in April (if Falk resigns in December) or next summer (if she steps down in April).
"But I need to get going now," he added.
Along with Risser, McDonell was joined by city Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and Steve Hiniker, executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. McDonell also handed out a list of some 50 people whom he says endorse him.
Noticeably absent was Falk's name. McDonell said "We haven't talked yet," but that he's seek her support.
He pledged, however, that should Falk step down in December, he would not appoint himself as interim county executive.