When Scott McDonell, current chair of the Dane County Board, won the Democratic primary for Dane County clerk last week, he created a rare opportunity for downtown Madison residents.
"Unlike the majority of the county board or the city council, these downtown seats don't turn over very often," says Ald. Mike Verveer, who has represented downtown for 17 years on the Common Council. "So it is a golden opportunity."
McDonell has held his downtown seat on the board for 16 years. McDonell - who still has the Nov. 6 general election to win, but will be the only person on the ballot - says he'll likely hold onto his seat until Jan. 2, when he is sworn in as clerk. His term isn't up until April 2014, which means there would be a special election held in April 2013 to fill the remainder of his term.
No candidates have declared, but that is sure to change. "Being central isthmus, I have no doubt that district is crawling with talent," says Mike Basford, chair of the Dane County Democratic Party. "Do I have any particular names? I don't."
Michael Johnson, co-chair of the Progressive Dane Party, says he's contemplating running for the seat.
"It's a really interesting mix," he says of the district. "A portion of it is students, retirees and condo owners. And then there are bits and pieces where there are homeowners and families."