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Monday, December 06, 2021

Paul Skidmore, Nikki Conklin to square off in main District 9 alder election

First time candidate Nikki Conklin beat out incumbent Paul Skidmore for the District 9 alder position in this past Tuesday’s spring primary election, according to unofficial results provided by WKOW. 

Conklin received 701 votes while Skidmore received exactly 50 votes, ending up with 651 total. The primary election eliminated two Dis. 9 candidates, one of which only lost to Skidmore by 25 votes. 

In an interview with the Isthmus, Conklin credited her first place finish to her progressive policy platform aimed towards making Madison a more equitable community.

“District 9 voters have shown that we have a shared vision for a community focused on equity and justice, quality affordable housing, and safety for all,” Conklin stated. “Our district deserves an alder who will uplift all of the voices in our community.” 

Skidmore was accused of calling a local activists a “c**t” during a common council meeting this past September, an incident that the city commissioned a $10,000 investigation to resolve. The investigation was scheduled to conclude in November, however, a resolution has yet to be reached.

Skidmore has repeatedly denied the accusation and told prior to the election that the unresolved investigation was unfairly being used by his political candidates.

“The city’s investigation into this matter is almost three months overdue without resolution,” Skidmore said.“In the meantime, my opponents are taking advantage of the lack of resolution to continue to accuse me of making the offensive remark. I await the report from the investigation and the opportunity to independently review the evidence in order to clear my name.”

Skidmore’s campaign has raised approximately $6,400 for his reelection in addition to $1,800 of funding left over from the Alder’s previous election cycles. According to campaign finance reports, only 10 individuals have contributed to Skidmore’s reflection, including 6 property developers, their spouses and one attorney.  Only one of the contributors is a current resident of District 9, according to Isthmus

The Conklin campaign raised around $4,200 from several dozen individual donors, a majority of whom reside in District 9, according to Isthmus. Following the primary elections, it is estimated that Skidmore has $5,500 while Conklin has $2,000 remaining to spend on campaign efforts prior to the April 6 election.   

Conklin has gathered endorsements from a number of progressive individuals and organizations, including Progressive Dane, Madison school board member Savion Castro and Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway. 

In a public statement, Rhodes-Conway voiced her support for Conklin saying, “Nikki understands the issues facing our community, and would bring an important perspective to the City Council.”

Skidmore has been endorsed by the Madison Professional Police Officers Association (MPPOA) — a local police union —  after he was ranked the most favorably during a comparison  of each incumbent alder’s past actions on matters of public safety.

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The MPPOA praised Skidmore for his past support of the Madison Police Department and proactive stance of public safety. 

“We would like to recognize Alder Paul Skidmore (District 9) as the undisputed leader in providing real and measurable support to the MPPOA, and continually working to meet the needs of public safety in Madison,” the release reads. “We believe Alder Skidmore is without question the strongest voice for public safety in District 9.” 

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