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Thursday, May 23, 2024
Jay Brower District 13

Courtesy of Jay Brower

Jay Brower announces re-election campaign for campus-area county board seat

District 13 incumbent Jay Brower announced his candidacy for the Dane County Board of Supervisors in a press release Monday.

Dane County Board of Supervisors District 13 incumbent candidate Jay Brower announced his re-election campaign on Monday.

Brower highlighted supporting working-class families, strengthening public services, confronting climate change and addressing student issues as his top priorities if re-elected.

Brower was appointed to the board in September to fill the campus-area seat vacated by former Supervisor Olivia Xistris-Songpanta and now seeks to serve a full two-year term. District 13 encompasses much of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, as well as campus-area housing around the Kohl Center and Camp Randall Stadium with a majority-student population.

Since taking office, Brower has served on the County Board’s Health and Human Needs standing committee and has co-sponsored multiple resolutions to fund food access, housing and health equity programs to support working people in the county.

“I am seeking another term on the Dane County Board to continue my dedicated efforts in support of working families, uplifting our neighbors who rely on high-quality county services and to champion common-sense solutions to address the climate crisis,” Brower said in a press release.

Brower highlighted some of the unique challenges the district’s large student population faces in Madison. He said the group has been hit especially hard by rising economic pressures and a skyrocketing cost of living.

“Host communities [for college campuses] need robust public services to provide support where university life stops,” Brower said. “Food pantries and affordable housing — two areas where the Board directs county tax dollars — are good examples of critical services that serve everyone in our county, including places where food and housing insecurity are less noticed.”

Brower works as a lead labor organizer for SEIU Wisconsin to advocate for fair pay and working conditions for workers around the state. He was previously a professor of communication at Western Connecticut State University for over a decade before settling in Madison. 

Two other candidates, Travis Austin and Ronan Rataj, also declared campaigns for the District 13 seat. The three candidates will appear on the Feb. 20  primary ballot, and the top two candidates will compete in the Apr. 2 spring election.

Austin campaigned against Brower to fill the District 13 vacancy in September and named criminal justice reform and preventing crime in the community as key areas of focus. He graduated from UW-Madison last year with a bachelor’s degree in political science and undergraduate certificates in public policy and environmental studies. 

Austin has served as a supervisor for the rural Town of Berry, located in Dane County, since April 2022.

Rataj is a current UW-Madison student with two years of experience on the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee of the Dane County Board and seeks to address environmental issues, student housing and criminal justice reform if elected.

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