With the mayoral election less than a week away, the incumbent candidate received a significant last-minute endorsement to his campaign Thursday.
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced her official endorsement of Mayor Dave Cieslewicz for mayor, adding to his broad base of supporters including AFSCME Local 60, Fair Wisconsin and the Sierra Club.
Cieslewicz, who has worked with Falk regarding environmental movements throughout the past several years, said he is excited and proud to have her support.
“I’m glad to have it as it adds to many other endorsements that we’ve already gotten from professional and labor groups,” Cieslewicz said. “She is well respected all over Madison with her hard work on social justice and women’s issues.”
In a statement announcing the endorsement, Falk said she has worked hard during Cieslewicz’s two previous successful campaigns for mayor — a record she said she hoped to continue.
Falk said Cieslewicz’s success in the upcoming election is important for Madison because of the recent political climate throughout Wisconsin.
“I worked hard to help first elect him eight years ago — and then four years ago,” Falk said in the statement. “There is more we need him to do: Standing up to the Walker agenda, improving transportation options to get us to work, and creating the ‘greenest city’ we can be.”
The endorsement rings a familiar bell in the long-standing competition between Cieslewicz and his opponent, former Mayor Paul Soglin, as Falk’s previous endorsement for Cieslewicz in the 2003 race between the two candidates served as a turning point in the election.
“Paul Soglin himself said that in 2003 Kathleen’s endorsement was key to my victory so I think it’s very significant”, Cieslewicz said.
Soglin said while he has an incredible amount of respect for Falk and the work she has done throughout her past 14 years in office, he does not believe her endorsement will carry as much weight during this election cycle as it has in the past.
“I have tremendous respect for Kathleen Falk and certainly her endorsement has meaning, but I don’t think it has nearly the influence it had in 2003,” Soglin said. “Especially because today both former Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager have endorsed me and I am very pleased about that.”