Ald. Lindsay Lemmer, District 3, announced her candidacy Monday for the soon-to-be vacant State Assembly seat of Rep. Melissa Sargant, D-Madison, making her the second person to join the race for the position.
Lemmer, a first-term alder, joined Madison Attorney Walter Stewart in the field to set up a contested August primary for the 48th Assembly District.
Sargant — who has occupied the Assembly seat since 2014 — announced she would be running for the Wisconsin State Senate’s District 16 seat after Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, announced in January he would not seek re-election.
“This district includes some of the fastest growing areas in Madison, is home to important natural resources that need protection, and areas that have developed quickly and require state investment to make long overdue infrastructure improvements,” Lemmer said in a statement.
With a bevy of support from current and former elected officials, Lemmer said she would continue the progress she made as a member of the City Council to the Assembly, prioritizing the “issues that matter to the people.”
“We need a proven leader and a fighter in the Assembly, who will stand up for funding our public schools and universities, for safe drinking water, for safer roads and improved infrastructure,” Lemmer said. “I’m ready to go for the people of the 48th district, and I’m going to work hard to earn their votes.”
Lemmer’s work as alder aimed to increase equity and accessibility to government, as well as improving transportation needs of Madison residents. In addition to being a member on several city council committees, Lemmer also currently serves as the president for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women, according to Wispolitics.
A Madison native and graduate of UW-Madison, Lemmer’s endorsements include current alders Shiva Bidar, Keith Furman, Arvina Martin, Patrick Heck and Rebecca Kemble. Former alder Lauren Cnare and County Board supervisor Kristen Audent also indicated their support.
“Alder Lemmer will be an important addition to our State Legislature,” Bidar said in a statement. “She understands policy, she knows how to work collaboratively to get things done and she is dedicated to serving the people she represents. She has my enthusiastic support.”
Stewart — Lemmer’s only opponent so far — said his 36 years of practicing private law and previous experience as a legislative aide research clerk for the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules makes him a viable candidate for the Assembly seat.
“Very often, the major challenge is trying to communicate in such a way that we can find a common ground,” Stewart said. “This is what I do for a living and I think that’s what’s needed in the Legislature, especially given how polarized politics has become.”
Other potential candidates include fellow Ald. Samba Baldeh, District 17, who said he plans to formally announce his candidacy in the coming weeks, according to the Cap Times.
Angela Jenkins — who ran for the District 15 alder position in 2019 — also indicated she was “in the final phase of deliberations” to enter her name in the race, the Cap Times reported.
The Assembly primary is scheduled for Aug. 11, and the general election is Nov. 3.