Madison Mayor Paul Soglin announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election in 2019.
Soglin, who is currently running for the Democratic nomination for governor, was first elected mayor of Madison as a 27-year-old in 1973. His first stint as mayor lasted until 1979, but he again served in the position from 1989 to 1997 and from 2011 to the present.
“Making a city run well is something I do well,” said Soglin in a statement. “I am leaving the city of Madison different and I think stronger.”
Soglin, the longest-serving mayor in Madison history, has proven controversial at times, mostly notably in 1975 when he presented Fidel Castro with a key to the city.
Madison Alder Maurice Cheeks, District 10, and former alders Brenda Konkel and Satya Rhodes-Conway have announced bids for mayor. Soglin endorsed Rhodes-Conway in his statement, calling her “eminently qualified.”
Ald. Cheeks, whose campaign has drawn public disapproval from Soglin, reiterated his support for new leadership in Madison.
“I commend Mayor Soglin for his many years of dedicated public service,” he said. “Now more than ever, Madison is ready for a new leader with a positive view for the future.”
The mayoral primary will be held on February 19, 2019, with the general election on April 2.