Though it seems like the autumn mid-term elections of 2006 were only just yesterday, the municipal elections on April 3, 2007 are rapidly approaching. It's a major electoral cycle in Madison, the biggest city elections in quite some time given the convergence of three major kinds of contests.
Receiving the least attention so far are the races for three seats on the Madison school board. While board president Johnny Winston Jr. has indicated his plans to run for reelection, Ruth Robarts and Shwaw Vang are stepping down. This leaves two open seats on what has become Madison's most hotly contested electoral body in recent years.
Then there's the race for mayor Madison. So far, the race consists largely of a contest between incumbent Dave Cieslewicz and challenger Ray Allen. One other candidate, Dennis De Nure, has also filed papers, but it remains to be seen whether or not there will be a serious primary for this seat as there was in 2003.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, are the races for seats on the Madison city council. An unusually large number of alders are not running for reelection this spring, including several long-time veterans of the body, leaving the political make-up and personality of the council up in the air. Multiple candidates for seats across the city have already announced their intentions to run, with things sure to heat up as winter lengthens.