MADISON, Wis. - Two Madison City Council members are running for state Assembly in the 78th District, which is Madison's far west side, and one of them will win the seat next Tuesday because no Republicans are running in the fall.
Mark Clear describes himself as Wisconsin Nice, but he says he will get much more serious once a member of the state Assembly.
"One of the most important things to me is in supporting small businesses, especially high technology startups," Clear said.
As CEO of a tech company and head of Accelerate Madison, Clear has a startup focus, but in his seven years on the Madison Common Council he's also been vocal on issues of TIF money.
"I am unabashedly unapologetically pro-infill development," Clear said. "I think it's a green issue to develop our city and reduce the amount of sprawl, and it's really important to our tax base."
But that's where he and his opponent, Lisa Subeck, disagree. The proud Progressive has opposed Clear on more than one city council issue.
"Mark has been very supportive of those kind of subsidies for developers of luxury hotels downtown, whether it's the Edgewater or the new Judge Doyle Square proposal," Subeck said. "Where I have opposed those because I don't think that's a good use of public funds."
Subeck has been head of Naral Pro-Choice Wisconsin, and most recently led efforts at United Wisconsin.
"I've spent most of my career working on policies to help women, children and families, and make a difference for working families in our community," Subeck said.
The two candidates agree on many other things, but generally say they'd take different approaches at the Statehouse.
"If they expect me to be a bomb thrower they are going to be disappointed because I'm just not, it's not my style, it wouldn't fit well. It would seem really bogus if I tried to do that, but I think there are ways to build relationships and work with people without compromise your values," Clear said.
"When Republicans and Democrats who are elected have something in common, you should reach out and work together and build from that," Subeck said. "But we have to be careful not to compromise away our values and give up the things that are most important to our communities in the name or compromise."
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