In an email correspondence, Rep. Spencer Black said he was certainly not near endorsing a candidate to succeed him in the Assembly, however, he seemed to leave the option open for the coming month. So far he says all seven primary candidates have contacted him.
I probably will not endorse in the Democratic primary although that could change. I certainly won't endorse early on, but there may be developments during the campaign that would lead me to make an endorsement.
I also asked Black if there was something unique about the 77th district that requires certain qualities, knowledge or experience in a candidate. What should somebody who represents the district be like?
It may be self-serving, but I don't believe that the 77th AD is just one of 99 districts. Historically, it has been a focal point for the progressive forces in the Legislature. For the last 40 years, the district was represented by Midge Miller and myself. Going farther back, Gaylord Nelson represented this district in the Legislature and this district was where the Democratic Party was reestablished after the collapse of the progressive party after WWII. Therefore I would like to see a Democrat elected who, based on philosophy, leadership abilities and passion, will again a leader of the progressives in the Legislature.
Black looks to Madison to preserve the existence of a liberal voice in the legislature. He wants a rep who will articulate the message that Democrats in more conservative districts may not feel comfortable delivering.