City News

Soglin officially throws his hat into the 2018 governor’s race

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin officially announced he will run for governor in 2018. 

Image By: Katie Schiedt

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin officially announced his bid for governor on Wednesday morning after months of speculation.

He joins 16 other Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican Governor Scott Walker. However, Soglin is possibly the most well-known candidate and has already drawn criticism from Walker on Twitter.

In the statement where he made the announcement, Soglin heavily criticized the governor’s leadership and policy enacted under his tenure — a tax plan where “the rich get richer,” public schools that are “undermined” and the state's continued lack of accessible high-speed internet.

"On the façade of the US Supreme Court are carved the words, “equal justice under law.” Today we have a President and a Governor who do not believe in those principles. They do not cherish our heritage and, in fact, they violate and undermine it every day," Soglin said.

He also criticized the Foxconn deal and the $4 billion dollars of tax cuts approved for the company and suggested increased investing that money in public schools, universities and healthcare.

Following this announcement Soglin plans to travel from Waukesha to Milwaukee to Madison meeting with voters and media outlets.

A former UW-Madison student, Soglin began his political career on Madison’s city council and was then elected to serve as mayor from 1973-’79 and from 1989-’97. He was elected for a second consecutive four-year term in 2015.

While he initially said he had no desire to run for the governor’s seat, he surprised Democrats in June when he told a Democratic convention he was considering it after the sweeping success of self-proclaimed “Democratic socialist” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, in the 2015 Wisconsin presidential primary. Sanders won against Hillary Clinton in all but one county — which Soglin said would bode well for a gubernatorial candidate with his views.

In Walker’s criticism he tweeted a photo of Soglin giving a Madison city key to Cuba’s communist leader Fidel Castro in what he called an "unabashed throwback to the 1960s radical liberal." Soglin has come under fire from more than one Republican in the past for his liberal lean and Walker called his actions “extremism even by Madison standards.”

But Soglin fired back, I learned that communication and understanding are a great way of making progress. Especially when you have differences with people.”

While the city’s economy has flourished under Soglin’s leadership, the new candidate has his work cut out for him to win over the entire state and to stand out in the crowded Democratic primary race. 

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