Mayor race is a ‘real fight’: Soglin ahead of Rhodes-Conway by 1 percentage point in primary

Mayor race is a ‘real fight’: Soglin ahead of Rhodes-Conway by 1 percentage point in primary
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We are now a step closer to deciding the mayor of Madison for the next four years. Former alder Satya Rhodes-Conway and incumbent Paul Soglin advanced to the general election following Tuesday’s primary. While the two came out on top Tuesday night there wasn’t a runaway leader so this race is still very much up for grabs.

Soglin beat Rhodes-Conway by just 323 votes. He won with 29 percent of the vote, Rhodes-Conway took 28 percent. Third-place finisher Mo Cheeks captured 23 percent and Raj Shukla had 18 percent.

Madison College educator and political expert Maurice Sheppard tells News 3 Now that the longtime mayor is not the clear favorite like he was in previous election year.

“Compared to 2015, when the mayor was running for re-election, he won the primary by over 50 percent and that’s a very good sign going into a general election. This time I think he has a real fight on his hands,” Sheppard said.

Soglin performed better in outlying wards, including Madison’s west side. Rhodes-Conway got more votes on the isthmus, campus and near east side.

Both tell News 3 Now they are confident they will be able to reach beyond their base as the head to April 2.

“When I was at the doors over the last week or so, we talked to a lot of people who were saying ‘I’m committed to Raj but you’re my second choice or I’m voting for Mo but I wish I could vote for both of you,'” Rhode-Conway said.

Rhodes-Conway said she is canvassing heavily on the near west side. Soglin believes he will be able to collect more votes by staying focused on what the voter’s want, something he said he’s always done.

“I said in the beginning my obligation is to the people of this community it’s not to other politicians,” Soglin said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Soglin touted his proven track record as mayor. He said the city is in much better shape than it was when he was elected eight years ago. He said he is committed to fixing racial disparities and making more affordable housing. He was critical of the idea of tiny houses which Rhodes-Conway floated during a mayoral forum. Soglin called it a “tiny solution.”

“There are two candidates and both of us are going to have our records held up for public scrutiny,” Soglin said.

Rhodes-Conway tells News 3 Now Soglin isn’t acting fast enough on issues like affordable housing, transportation and climate change.

“Folks understand those challenges and they know we are not moving far enough on them and they want a leader who has political courage to actually tackle those issues,” she said

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