So far, Ald. Scott Resnick is the only council member who has declared to run for Common Council president. But his campaign has not come without controversy.
The problem is that Resnick, the council's current pro tem, is also contemplating running next spring for mayor. This has some of his colleagues, who will elect a new leader April 29, worrying that the position will become politicized.
Ald. Denise DeMarb thinks Resnick would be a great president but fears the complications if he does run against Mayor Paul Soglin.
"If you're sitting in a room with your competition, are you going to lay all your cards on the table?" DeMarb asks. "Working together might be a little tricky."
The council president -- which has a one-year term -- doesn't get any special powers. He or she fills in when the mayor is out of town, regularly meets with the mayor and helps set the agendas. It's largely a ceremonial role that requires a lot more work.
Resnick says he has not yet made a decision whether he'll run for mayor, but he dismisses fears of a power struggle.
"I can see the concerns, but the council presidency is about who will best lead the council over the next year, and I've received quite a bit of support from my colleagues," he says.
Asked whether he'd step down as president if he does run for mayor, Resnick says: "I'm confident in my ability to work with Mayor Soglin."
Meanwhile, at least three people have expressed interest in running for pro tem: DeMarb, Marsha Rummel and Joe Clausius. Traditionally, the pro tem becomes council president the following year.