Back in December, Monona Grove School Board Vice President Andrew McKinney announced that he was entering the race for Dane County Board seat 36 in the 2022 spring election to represent Cottage Grove. After previously running for the Cottage Grove Town Board and for the Wisconsin State Senate, McKinney says that he is running for this position to provide resources for underrepresented and ignored communities.
“I am interested in the Dane County Board because it is a step up towards the bigger picture,” said McKinney. “This is going to help me gain more ground into what I want to do in the future.”
McKinney wants to focus on veterans, education, and community resources in supporting the citizens of Dane County. As the current vice president of the Monona Grove School Board, he understands the importance of funding public schools for all students.
“I want to make sure the funds are going where they need to be to get it to the public schools to (improve) programming,” said McKinney. “To make our schools safer and to give our kids, all kids, the best education that they deserve.”
As a disabled veteran, McKinney also wants to use this position to ensure that veterans in Dane County have the resources and support they need. McKinney served in the military for more than six years in the Army, which included time in Desert Storm.
“We have a lot of misplaced disabled veterans out there,” said McKinney. “I am a disabled veteran. I’ve been helping and trying to advocate for veterans for many years. And this is another stepping stone that will help me to do that. Not just here in this area but for the whole Dane County.”
Another societal issue Dane County has been dealing with is homelessness. McKinney wants to ensure that homeless populations and other community members receive the resources and support they need.
“We have homeless programs, and we have an abundance of nonprofits,” McKinney said. “But what are these nonprofits doing to really work for our county? Where are the funds that get put in here to help build these programs to help people in the community as far as homelessness, single-parent homes, the mental aspect of everything going on?”
McKinney is prioritizing communities in need, like veterans, homeless populations, and students. If elected, he plans to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Dane County and provide resources that support mental health.
“COVID has really exposed a lot of things,” said McKinney. “Now our mental state is just all over the map and you can see it all over the county. You can see how people are fighting among each other and fighting at each other. And you can see people attacking each other. So, we need to get some kind of stability and get back to what we need to be as a county.”
A graduate of Madison East High School, McKinney earn his bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and would later earn his master’s degree in education, also from Concordia, focusing on counselor education/school counseling and guidance services. He is up against incumbent Dane County Supervisor Melissa Ratcliff, who has held the seat since 2018.
“I am a disabled veteran, who served my country during the Gulf War,” McKinney said. “I know what it takes for leadership. And as you can see what’s going on in Dane County compared to other counties, you see that this county is different. We need better leadership, and we need people who can act on things. I want to set the stage for like-minded people like myself, not just for this county but for every county in Wisconsin to vote people in who will work for the people and not for the interests of others. We work for the people. And that’s what I want to bring.”
The election will take place on Tuesday, April 5.