Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard, D-Madison, announced her campaign for Dane County Executive on Thursday.
“As a mom, a small business owner and a legislator, I have a unique perspective and a deep understanding of the challenges we all face and the opportunity we have as a Dane County community. I’m ready to hit the ground running on day one,” Agard said in a press release.
In early October, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said he will retire from the position in May 2024. Parisi did not disclose why he is retiring before the April 2025 election, but said his tenure “has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”
"Our county has been fortunate to have great leaders like Joe Parisi and Kathleen Falk over the past two decades. Now I'm running to build on their progress and create a forward-thinking county government ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead,” Agard said.
Agard represents Wisconsin’s 16th Senate District and was unanimously elected as Senate Democratic Leader in November 2022. Before serving the Senate, Agard worked in the state Assembly and on the Dane County Board.
Sen. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, is expected to seek the leadership position, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A spokesperson for Roys told The Daily Cardinal there will be a caucus election and she is "hopeful to earn the caucus' support."
Roys has served in the Senate since 2021 and is currently a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.
Editors note: This article was updated at 8:44 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023.
Ava Menkes is the state news editor at The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple stories about Wisconsin politics and written in-depth about nurses unions and youth voter turnout. Follow her on Twitter at @AvaMenkes.