Madison Mayor Paul Soglin will not seek a third term as mayor, his campaign representative announced today.
“The people of Madison have honored me by their trust and confidence over 22 years,” Soglin said in a written statement. “Making a city run well is something I do well. I am leaving the city of Madison different and I think stronger. I’ll miss the talented, hardworking people who work for the city. We have one of the great workforces in municipal government, anywhere.”
Soglin, 72, is in the second term of his third stint as Madison’s mayor. He first ran as a young liberal firebrand in the 1970s, served again in the 1990s and defeated incumbent Dave Ciezlewicz in 2011.
Soglin is also one of eight Democrats running for the party’s nomination for governor, though his chances in that race seem slim. He received just a single vote at the party’s convention straw poll in June and lags far behind in fundraising, according to finance reports released yesterday; he has raised almost $116,000, compared to over $1,000,000 raised by frontrunner Mahlon Mitchell, $824,000 raised by Kelda Roys and $800,000 raised by Tony Evers.
Current alder Maurice Cheeks and former alders Satya Rhodes-Conway and Brenda Konkel have all announced bids to the city’s top spot. Soglin endorsed Rhodes-Conway.
“I want to give candidates for Mayor, who have begun to emerge, the time and space to make their case to the voters,” he said in the statement. “There are three announced candidates for the office. One of those candidates, Satya Rhodes-Conway, is eminently qualified.”
“I commend Mayor Soglin for his many years of dedicated public service. Now more than ever, Madison is ready for a new leader with a positive vision for the future,” said Cheeks in a statement. “We need to harness Madison’s current growth to build a forward-focused economy that grows and diversifies our middle class, and I look forward to speaking with voters over the coming months and earning their support in this race.”
“I was surprised to hear Mayor Soglin’s announcement today. I’m glad I’ve earned his trust and confidence, and I’m working hard to earn the trust and confidence of people across Madison,” Rhodes-Conway said in a statement. “My candidacy for Mayor has never been about the incumbent or other candidates – It’s about my vision for Madison, and putting my experience to work making Madison number one for everyone. I look forward to a robust campaign, and to earning the support of the voters in February and again in April.”
Konkel did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The primary is in February and the top two candidates will face off in the April general election.