Good News: Mayor Paul Soglin To Seek Another Term

I was stunned this morning with the latest news.  Often the news is awful, leaving me with the question of how deep in the basement, as a nation, we are headed. But today the news that took me totally by surprise was something which is good for the city of Madison and its residents.

In a startling reversal, Mayor Paul Soglin will now seek another four-year term, dramatically shaking up the city elections early next year.

Soglin, mayor for 14 years in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s and now completing a second straight four-year term, in July announced he would not seek re-election amid an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for governor where he eventually placed a distant seventh place in the August primary.

But on Friday, Soglin announced he is entering the mayoral race, saying he’s been encouraged by many to run, is enthused for a campaign, wants to continue to promote racial equity, economic development and entrepreneurship, and has unfinished business such as the Madison Public Market.

“I made a miscalculation in July,” he said in an interview. “I thought I would not be up for another campaign after the governor’s race. I am.

I have not always been a fan of Soglin, and truly thought him to be too snarky and condescending to former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.  But over the years it has been the conduct of the city council, their lack of leadership, and their tendency at times to drift into crazy land which has alerted me (and this city as a whole) as to the reason there must be a stable hand and keen mind on the throttle.

Soglin allows for seasoned and sound leadership.  Some of the names that were tossed about as candidates for the April election were not the caliber that this city requires.  A couple of them, should they continue to seek the office, will add a perspective along with the needed dialogue so to engage us as we move forward.  But at the end of this process Soglin will have the gravitas and institutional memory that we can use and count on—resources that are lacking with too many others who seek leadership in this city.

I am very pleased with being stunned today.

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