The former student overcame the current student in the District 5 aldermanic election Tuesday night as Robbie Webber defeated Jason Stephany, a UW-Madison sophomore, after an early concession.
Webber accumulated 1,030 votes to Stephany's 662. She effused excitement after learning of her opponent's concession. Webber said her focus is now on working together with the common council and improving the future outlook of Madison.
\Although there are many variables at the moment, I think there are things that all of the progressive downtown alders want to work on,"" she said. ""To make sure we grow in a smart way, we have to look at our land-use and transportation patterns, and also affordable housing, which is a huge issue for the city of Madison.""
Making up a sizable contingent of her district are UW-Madison students, constituents who Webber deems to ""care about issues at large, not just student issues.""
""[Students] are smart enough to realize that all things tie together, and that we have to look at environmental, economic and health issues all in the big picture,"" she said.
Despite early numbers in his favor, Stephany conceded the race quickly. Although he said he was disappointed with the loss, he was happy with the campaign.
""We're really proud of the race we ran,"" Stephany said. ""This was a phenomenal experience.""
Stephany said he thought Webber's campaign was also clean, and he hopes she will continue to do positive work.
He attributed his loss to Webber's ability to motivate her neighbors, as well as to his age. Stephany was the first student to run in District 5 since it was redistricted. However, Stephany said his campaign, a grassroots movement primarily led by students, will help future student candidates.
""We've really laid the groundwork for students to come,"" Stephany said. He cited his endorsements from several papers, organizations and local politicians as steps in this direction.
While Stephany said he was open to running for office again, he was glad the election was over.
""I'm happy to go back to a normal life,"" Stephany said.
Webber said she is happy to represent both citizens and students in promoting positive change in Madison.
""I am looking forward to working with my constituents and the students, and hearing from them about the important issues,"" Webber said.