New Mayors Elected In Madison, Green Bay

Rhodes-Conway, Genrich Elected To Lead Cities

A voter retrieves her "I Voted" sticker
Richard Drew/AP Photo

Residents of Madison and Green Bay — Wisconsin’s second- and third-largest cities — voted for new leadership during Tuesday’s election.

Longtime Madison Mayor Paul Soglin lost his bid for a third consecutive term in the spring election. Instead, challenger Satya Rhodes-Conway won with 62 percent of the vote compared to Soglin’s 38 percent.

Rhodes-Conway served six years on the Madison Common Council and this was her first run for mayor. She manages the nonprofit Mayor’s Innovation Project. She will also be the first openly gay mayor in the city’s history.

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By comparison, Soglin has a long history in Madison. He first served as the city’s mayor in 1973, and served intermittently until 2011 and was re-elected in 2015. Last year, he indicated he wouldn’t run again, but later changed his mind.

Both mayoral candidates identified themselves as progressive and had some similar priorities, such as improving race relations in the city.

Meanwhile, Madison wasn’t the only city whose residents sought a change on Tuesday.

Jim Schmitt, the long-serving mayor of Green Bay, stepped down after serving 16 years.

Former Democratic state Rep. Eric Genrich beat local businessman Patrick Buckley by a wide margin.

Speaking from his victory party on Tuesday night, Genrich said he will not marginalize the 8,296 residents who voted for his opponent.

“I am as committed to serving them as I am to serving the folks who voted for me. I see it as my responsibility to increase the level of support for the vision we have articulated to bring as many people into the tent as possible,” he said.

Genrich said he intends to push state officials to give the city’s in due in terms of funding.

“I view it as my responsibility to really be an advocate for the city of Green Bay with our state leaders to make sure that we are getting our fair share of tax dollars coming back from state government,” he said.

Major issues in the campaign included improving infrastructure, in particular potholes, and how to pay to fix them. Genrich said he would get to work on fixing roads on day one, which would be April 16.

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