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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 14, 2024

Powell, in reversal, will run for District 5 position

Ald. Tom Powell, District 5, said Monday he will run in April to keep his Madison City Council seat, despite his assertions last spring that he would hold office only until a special election could be held for the seat vacated by former Associated Students of Madison Rep. Jessy Tolkan. 

 

 

 

\I believe that I'll run again for City Council,"" Powell said, citing the loss of his district in the Dane County Board redistricting as a reason for his change of mind. Powell, also the District 5 Dane County Supervisor, and Sup. Karen Cornwell, District 10, were placed in the same district by the new boundaries created for the County Board following the 2000 census. 

 

 

 

""On the County Board side, I was pretty much squeezed out of the picture,"" he said. 

 

 

 

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Tolkan relinquished her claim to the District 5 aldermanic seat April 20 amid allegations that she had not been a resident of the district for 10 days prior to the election, a violation of state law. The Council appointed Powell to fill the vacancy June 5 after UW-Madison law student Winn Collins withdrew his name from consideration. The Common Council Organizational Committee had recommended Collins for the seat on a 4-2 vote. 

 

 

 

A special election to fill the position until the regular April 2003 Council elections will be held along with County Board races April 2, 2002. 

 

 

 

Collins said Monday that he would ""most likely not"" challenge Powell next April because he currently holds a position in the city attorney's office that would constitute a conflict of interest with an alder's duties. 

 

 

 

While Collins said he would wait before fully forming an opinion on Powell's candidacy, he expressed concerns about Powell's decision to run. 

 

 

 

""One of the conditions of our being appointed was we promised not to run, and he'd be violating that,"" Collins said. ""[The Council] didn't want an appointed official to have the power of incumbency."" 

 

 

 

Powell said his position on the County Board prior to his Council appointment makes concerns about incumbency irrelevant. 

 

 

 

""[It's not that] I'm doing something unfair to gain incumbency since I've already served in that district,"" Powell said. ""The issue of incumbency is a moot point, really."" 

 

 

 

Tenants rights and affordable housing are among the issues Powell said he hopes to work more on. 

 

 

 

""There's things we've started that I want to see through to fruition,"" Powell said. ""There's more opportunity for action on the City Council than there is on the County Board.\

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