Mardi Gras 2007 is turning out to be an uncharacteristically busy evening, given the convergence of the holiday, the spring primary election, and the first challenge faced by the number-one-in-the-nation Badger men's basketball team. Parties focusing on all three events will be rolling around the city.
Live-blogging of the election parties and releated bacchanalia follows below.
"I feel very good about it," says Dave Cieslewicz about tonight's results. "It's an indication that Madisonians like the direction the city has taken the last four years."
The incumbent mayor address the theme of poverty that is the centerpiece of Ray Allen's campaign. "I think that if you know what somebody might do in the next four years, look at what they've done in the last four," says Cieslewicz, pointing to increased city expenditures for neighborhood centers, after-school programs, community service programs, a trade appprenticeship project, and the city's purchase of blighted properties on Allied Drive.
"If you want a real commitment to fighting poverty," he says, "look at what we've done the last four years."
Peter MuÃoz is endorsing Ray Allen in the general mayoral election.
"The election went very well, we are very pleased," says Megan McGroty, Cieslewicz's campaign manager. "But we are going to work very hard in the next six weeks to keep Madison moving forward."
"There's a big difference in this race," she says when asked about how the mayor will frame himself in opposition to Allen. "The fact is that Ray Allen is a Republican and Dave Cieslewicz is a proud Democrat."
This is indeed likely to be a common refrain offered by the Cieslewicz campaign and its supporters.
Annette Ziegler is running away with the race for the State Supreme Court, her blanket of television ads looking like they were very effective. Statewide, with 63% of the vote in, she is leading with 63% of the vote, over Linda Clifford with 23% and Joseph Sommers with 15%.
These numbers are fairly different within Dane County, though, where Clifford is leading with 45% of the vote, with Ziegler at 38% and Sommers at 17%.
It looks like Beth Moss and Rick Thomas are the two candidates who will be moving forward in the race for Seat 3 on the Madison Board of Education. Moss continues to lead with 50% of the vote, followed by Thomas at 26% and Cross-Leone with 22%. Nearly 900 votes separate the latter two candidates, with nearly every ward reporting.
Campaign manager Semmi Pasha gives a brief summary of Ray Allen's election eve speech to supporters at the Esquire Club. "He thanked Peter [MuÃoz], thanked everybody in the room, thanked the city, and spoke about the issues important to him," Pasha explains, notably basic city services and poverty, transportation and Allied Drive.
As for tonight's results, Pasha says the campaign is generally pleased. "We always felt that we would get through the primary," he says. "We want to thank everyone who supported the campaign, the city of Madison, and Peter MuÃoz. He ran a great race, did a hell of a job, and we just want to thank him for it."
Dave Cieslewicz just gave his victory speech at Madison's, repeatedly referring to Allen as his Republican opponent.
The results are in for the two remaining aldermanic races in Madison to be reported.
Brian Solomon won 72% of the vote in the District 10 race, and will be facig Chris Ogden (17%) in the general election. The other two candidates -- Nick Dorneanu and Thomas McClure -- received 5% and 6% of the remainder, respectively.
In District 17, Joe Clausius is moving on with 55% of the vote, along with Sarah Florino, who received 23%. The third candidate, Mary Thornton, was only 12 votes behind.
MuÃoz has officially conceded. "Peter has conceded the race," says campaign spokesperson Dan Guerra. "We received a call from the Allen campaign, and Peter will be speaking to him soon."
"In retrospect, we just didn't have an opportunity to frame our message and get out there enough," Guerra says, pointing to MuÃoz's relatively brief campaign. "He's looking forward to returning to Centro HispaÃo, will continue to be involved as a civil rights leader here in town, and will keep working on issues of economic development."
What is the status of the Madison school board race as ward reports continue to arrive at the Dane County Clerk's office? They're largely unchanged from those earlier in the night. Beth Moss is winning with 50% of the vote, while Rick Thomas and Pam Cross-Leone remain close, with 26% and 22% of the vote, respectively. This is easily the closest race in Madison.
The UW Athletic Department has issued a release detailing the Badger men's basketball team's loss to Michigan State.
District 18 aldermanic candidate Michael Schumacher is one of the revelers at the Cieslewicz party, spending some of his time speaking with outgoing District 18 alder Paul Van Rooy and downtown activist Rosemary Lee. Schumacher provides the results in his race, which he won with 49% of the vote. Their vote totals? Here they are: Schumacher (696), Jon Becker (516), Benito Juarez Olivas (148), and Andy Lindgren (56). Therefore Becker will be facing Schumacher in the general.
Madison's Dining and Diversion is a madhouse, filled to the brim with Cieslewicz supporters and associated unaffiliated Mardi Gras revelers. The mayoral election party fills the front half of the bar, and the room is exceedingly loud.
Dave Cieslewicz has won all but a half dozen of the wards so far, with those going to Ray Allen. The share of the vote claimed by MuÃoz, meanwhile, has dropped below 10%.
Cieslewicz campaign spokesperson is holding off on commenting about the results so far, with the incumbent mayor receiving about 54% of the vote with less than half of the wards reporting. "We're still waiting to get the rest of the results in," she says.
Brenda Konkel has posted the results for five aldermanic races on her blog, sans comment.
Madison alder Zach Brandon is appearing as a guest on WIBA 1310's election coverage. Much of the discussion thus far is focusing on the race in District 12. Unsurprisingly, the discussion is fixated on the perceived power of Progressive Dane, and whether or not voters selecting Mike Basford today will turn to the conservative candidate Mark Deadman or progressive candidate Satya Rhodes-Conway.
A few numbers are starting to trickle in for a couple other aldermanic races, namely districts 17 and 18 on the north and east side of Madison. Joe Clausius is leading with over half the vote so far in the former, though the votes remain very close in the latter.
"It's hard to tell," says Allen campaign manager Semmi Pasha, looking at the returns in so far. (Allen so far has about 32% of the vote to Cieslewicz's 54% and MuÃoz's 11%.) "I don't believe the wards that are in now are a representative sample of Madison," he continues, "with the trend working in our favor." That is, of course, with only a minor portion of the wards reported, so far.
As more returns from Madison come in, it looks like Rick Thomas is opening up a slight lead on Pam Cross-Leone for the second spot in the Madison school board primary for Seat 3.
Madison alder Robbie Webber provides a few numbers (from poll watchers) for the District 13 race. Here are those results, with vote totals in parantheses: Mike Clark (124), Julia Kerr (854) and Duane Steinhauer (166). Therefore, Kerr and Steinhauer will be moving on to the general election.
The results are close in the Sun Prairie School District referendum, with the yes side leading by about 54% with the City of Madison wards yet to be reported.
In Fitchburg's District 4, aldermanic candidates Jay Allen and Jeff Schoenfeldt will be moving on to the general election, receiving 37% and 31% of the total vote, respectively, in the six-way race.
"We're eating some food and intently watching the results," says MuÃoz campaign spokesperson Dan Guerra from the Brink Lounge. "Peter did a couple interviews, and I think we have some people here excited to see the results coming in."
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler continues to lead by a wide margin with 12% of the statewide vote coming in; she has 62% to Linda Clifford's 22% and Joseph Sommers' 12%.
As the first few city results continue to come in, Madison school board candidate Beth Moss is leading with just over 50% of the vote, with Pam Cross-Leone and Rick Thomas splitting the difference.
The first mayoral results for Madison are trickling in, from wards 11, 34, 54, 62 and 84. Cieslewicz is currently leading with 63% of the vote, followed by Allen with 23% and MuÃoz with 11%.
District 5 alder Robbie Webber confirms the numbers provided by Konkel, who received them from Progressive Dane activist and poll watcher Michael Jacob. Webber
Konkel is at the Rhodes-Conway gathering at the Sandlot, which is also hosting parties for a women's hockey, Mardi Gras, and "some sort of poker thing."
Noting these results, particularly in the northside District 12, Webber says "it's looking like the progressive side is way ahead," given the combined vote total of Rhodes-Conway and Basford.
District 2 alderperson Brenda Konkel is reporting returns for Madison aldermanic races on TDPF. Her news? Mark Deadman and Satya Rhodes-Conway are moving on in District 12, Larry Palm and Vicky Selkowe are moving on in District 15, Marsha Rummel and Carl DuRocher are moving on in District 6, and Tim Gruber and Chris Schmidt are moving on in District 11. No major surprises there, with the difference between Rhodes-Conway and Mike Basford being 602 to 507.
WTMJ in Milwaukee is reporting that with 3% of returns in, state Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler is clobbering her opponents with 66% of the vote. It looks like it might be a happy night for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
The first returns for Madison are in, the "Town of," that is. Madison school board candidate Beth Moss recieved 89 votes in the town, with Rick Thomas receiving 60 and Pam Cross-Leone getting 44.
"Seriously, what happened," asks Erik Opsal about the Badger men's basketball loss to Michigan State. "Drew Neitzel kicked the crap out of us," he continues. "We couldn't rebound, we couldn't make a shot in the last 10 minutes of the game."
Returns continue to come in quickly for the towns and villages in greater Dane County, with Annette Ziegler running with about half of the vote so far, with the other two candidates splitting the difference. The state Supreme Court candidate's lead is likely to drop, though, as the numbers from Madison begin to come in.
The official election results are now starting to come in from throughout Dane County. A couple of notable returns? Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler is running away with it in the Town of Bristol and Village of Black Earth, with Linda Clifford and Joseph Sommers running neck and neck in these and a couple of other rural Dane County locales.
"I'm depressed, I don't care about the election anymore," says Dave Cieslewicz in jest, refering to the Badgers' loss in East Lansing. Evaluating the game, he says they were beaten on the inside and by their poor shooting of three-pointers.
Cieslewicz is awaiting election results at his campaign offices, located in the Cantwell Building on the corner of South Pinckney and East Doty streets in downtown Madison (and just around the corner from the Isthmus offices.
Cieslewicz, his campaign manager Megan McGrorty, his mayoral spokesperson George Twigg, and about six other volunteers are gathered in the office, answering phone calls and keeping track of reports from their supporters in the field.
In fact, they are receiving reports from poll watchers, one of whom is reporting that Cieslewicz received 77% of the vote in Ward 33 (which is around Olbrich Gardents).
The Michigan State Spartans defeats the Badgers by a large margin, 64 to 55.
The polls have now closed throughout the state.
Following a time out, the Spartans continue to take it away and lead 58 to 51.
With just over 2 minutes remaining, the score is 56 to 51, Michigan State leading.
Here's another pair of aldermanic parties. East side capital-P Progressive candidates Marsha Rummel and Vicky Selkowe are holding the election day gathering at the Harmony Bar on Atwood.
With just under three minutes remaining, Michigan State has made a small run and is now leading 51 to 49.
Peter MuÃoz "has been on the phone encouraging people to vote" over the last couple of hours, says campaign spokesperson Dan Guerra. Before this, the candidate appeared on the Vicki McKenna AM talk show at 4:30 p.m., Guerra continues. MuÃoz has been conducting most of his GOTV efforts from his cell phone, moving from event to event encouraging people to complete the arrow next to his name.
With just over 6 minutes to play in the basketball game, the Badgers are leading 49 to 45.
Ray Allen has been on the UW campus too speaking to students says his campaign manager Semmi Pasha. "Before that he took a rest as he was exhausted," Pasha explains. "We worked him pretty hard, especially this past week. So he's getting a little rest, as I feel like it's going to be a late night tonight." Pasha also notes he expects another busy six weeks for Allen.
Cieslewicz campaign manager Megan McGrorty says the mayor remains busy with GOTV efforts. "He has been doing phone calls, making sure people went out and voted," she says, and recently headed down to Gordon Commons on the UW campus to make some last minute pitches to students.
With just over 15 minutes remaining in the half, Michigan State is leading Wisconsin by 35 to 33.
Here are a couple of locations for the parties held by aldermanic candidates. One of the most closely watched races is that in District 12, where Mike Basford and Satya Rhodes-Conway are dueling alongside Mark Deadman and Marcus Watson to move on to the general election.
Basford's party is at Slices Bar and Grill, located on Pennsylvania Avenue between Demetral Field and Union Cab. He says:
I'm hoping for a positive result, but regardless of the outcome I am very proud of the campaign we ran and look forward to a successful conclusion of our primary election efforts tomorrow. Hope to see you there!
Meanwhile, Rhodes-Conway's party is at The Sandlot, a tavern located at the intersection of North Street and East Johnson just a few blocks east of Demetral.
The second half of the Badger basketball game started with a tremendous cheer from the Michigan State fans, at least as heard over AM radio.
Curious about a more anecdotal look at turnout in Madison. Check out the discussion on TDPF about where voters share the time and location for casting their ballots.
What does Dane County Clerk Bob Ohlsen have to say about the primary today. "Things seem to have gone pretty well, with no major problems," he says. Ohlsen goes on to explain that turnout in Madison as of 4 p.m. was at 9.8%, with no data yet in the rest of the county. They're gearing up for when the polls close after 8 p.m., at which point things will be getting very busy for them.
The Madison City Clerk's office isn't very talkative this evening, routing all media calls to the Dane County Clerk's Office. All they will say is that the voting process today has been "pretty good,"
With the first half complete in East Lansing, the Badgers are leading 30 to 29. Alando Tucker has scored 14 of those points.
The three biggest election parties of the night are those hosted by the mayoral candidates.
- Ray Allen and his supporters are meeting at the Esquire Club on Sherman Avenue on the north side.
- Dave Cieslewicz and his supporters are meeting at Madison's Dining and Diversions on King Street downtown.
- Peter MuÃoz and his supporters are meeting at the Brink Lounge on East Washington Avenue on the near east side.
The basketball game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing is well underway, with just over three minutes remaining in the first half. The score has been close through most of the half, with the Badgers generally a few points in the lead over the Spartans. More details about the match-up can be found in a preview provided by the UW Athletic Department.