Takeaways from a sleepy spring election – Isthmus

There have been no massive surprises within the spring election this week. With few aggressive races on the poll and no statewide elections, turnout was down in Dane County from latest spring elections and never a single incumbent on the poll misplaced reelection. 

In the one Madison college board race with two candidates on the poll, Laura Simkin defeated challenger Shepherd Janeway (Joyner) with 70 p.c of the vote. Janeway did win many of the voting wards on campus and a few downtown, however Simkin led by giant margins in the remainder of town. Simkin’s marketing campaign finance report (which accounted for exercise by March 28) reveals she spent practically $4,000. Janeway’s marketing campaign confirms they didn’t need to file a report as a result of they have been below the $2,000 restrict. 

Former Madison district administrator Nichelle Nichols will be part of the board after operating unopposed. She was the one candidate this cycle to be endorsed by the Madison Teachers Inc. 

Simkin was the one board candidate to specific help for bringing again law enforcement officials to the district’s excessive faculties. However, she doesn’t count on the board to rethink its 2020 determination to finish its contract with the Madison Police Department. Apart from that, Simkin and Janeway didn’t differ radically on most points. Simkin didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

The ideological divide was huge within the (sorta) contested race between one-term incumbent Ali Muldrow and write-in, protest candidate David Blaska — who Muldrow handily beat with 88 p.c of the vote. The former conservative county board supervisor railed in opposition to what he describes as “woke culture” run amuck within the Madison college district and promised to convey “discipline” again to the classroom. This left Muldrow, as the present college board president and solely incumbent board member operating for reelection, to defend latest choices made by the Madison college board whereas additionally promising extra help for academics and an enlargement of arts training. 

Parents and educators have considerations concerning the path of the district, pupil security chief amongst them, however Blaska did not provoke any proportion of the voters that was on the lookout for a change. Blaska’s loss was not from lack of consideration and he did higher than most write-in candidates. But mean-spirited feedback — like calling East High School “Fight Club East” at a college board discussion board — in all probability didn’t assist Blaska win over any liberal voters doubtlessly keen to look previous his Republican politics. 

“Apparently, I didn’t go far sufficient out of my solution to provoke sufficient liberals to win,’ Blaska instructed Isthmus

Since Blaska was a write-in candidate, we gained’t know the precise variety of votes he acquired till the Board of Canvassers meets on Friday. Even assuming each write-in vote went to Blaska, he did not win a single ward. He did greatest within the city of Burke and the village of Maple Bluff, though Muldrow nonetheless gained with no less than two-thirds of the vote in these areas. Blaska acquired solely 3,480 votes complete.

It was (form of) a repeat of the 2019 race the place Muldrow additionally confronted Blaska, who was a full-fledged candidate and on the poll in that matchup. Muldrow nonetheless soundly defeated Blaska that yr with 69 p.c of the vote. In that race, each candidates spent greater than $20,000 on their campaigns. This time round Blaska instructed Isthmus he didn’t settle for any donations or spend any cash. Muldrow’s March 28 marketing campaign finance report reveals she spent a little bit over $1,200. 

Muldrow and Nichols celebrated victory at The Rigby on election night time with supporters and fairly a couple of incumbent Dane County supervisors, the overwhelming majority of whom have been re-elected with out opposition. 

“I want to thank the voters for the opportunity to serve another term and I’m excited to continue the work of giving every kid in Madison a chance to thrive and succeed,” Muldrow stated on the election night time occasion. 

Turnout of registered Dane County voters was down considerably from latest spring elections; Early knowledge reveals simply 22 p.c of registered voters bothered to forged a poll. That’s down from 31 p.c in 2021, 56 p.c in 2020, and 43 p.c in 2019. 

All 37 seats on the Dane County Board of Supervisors have been on the poll Tuesday however there have been simply 10 aggressive races regardless of 11 incumbents not operating for re-election. 

In deep blue Dane County, a handful of seats (that are nonpartisan) did have candidates who’ve lately donated to Republican politicians. None of those candidates managed to unseat a left-leaning incumbent. The solely aggressive supervisors’ race in Madison was between incumbent Anthony Gray and challenger Amanda Noles. Gray gained with 70 p.c of the vote. 

Gray, who was on the election night time occasion on the Rigby, confirmed Isthmus a late-in-the race mailer from Noles’ marketing campaign that learn, “Crime is out of control in Dane County but Anthony Gray voted to defund the sheriff.” 

“I’m really proud my district is above this kind of Trumpian dog-whistle politics,” stated Gray, who’s African American. “[Noles] was trying to associate Black people with crime. I hate to say it but sometimes that works.” 

Noles rejected Gray’s cost in an e-mail. 

“At least 30 percent of voters tonight agree that crime is out of control in Dane County. Mr. Gray’s voting to decrease positions and remove funding from the Sheriff Department was a poor choice. I’m sorry he felt he needed to attack me personally for pointing this out to voters,” wrote Noles. “I consider myself a middle of the road, common sense person. I have voted on both sides of the ballot. I was hoping to be a voice of reason and offer some new ideas on a board that is almost unanimously progressive/far left.” 

Incumbent Jeff Weigand, one of many solely supervisors who might be referred to as a conservative, survived a problem from Scott Michalak, who was backed by the Democratic Party of Dane County. It was one of many closest races within the spring election. Weigand defeated Michalak by simply 33 votes.

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