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Thursday, August 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 70.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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The pol vs. the exec
From the Isthmus archives, April 1, 1988
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Credit:Brent Nicastro

The race for Dane County executive presents a study in contrasts between Democrats Joe Wineke and Rick Phelps, reports Rob Ritzenthaler. At 31, Wineke is already a political veteran and three-term state representative from Verona. Phelps, 41, is executive director of the Wisconsin Public Defenders Program and new to campaigning. "I want to make Dane County a leader in the environmental area," says Wineke, adding: "I want to change the budget system so that it is accountable to people. Someone's just got to manage the growth of this county." Phelps, meanwhile, wants to apply his managerial experience to improving human services and social justice programs. "Embedded in every governmental decision is a question of fairness," he observes. "Good government, if done with integrity, goes beyond even the individual issue you are resolving." Phelps wins and goes on to serve as county executive for nine years. Now a senior vice president at M&I Bank, he's also a fixture on the Madison Jewish Community Council board and active in local politics and social issues. Wineke chairs the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

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