The push to replace Echnaton Vedder on the Dane County Board of Supervisors has become a three-dog race.
University of Wisconsin freshman and member of the Student Services Financial Committee David Lapidus announced his candidacy for the board's District 5 Tuesday. He said, as a supervisor, he and the rest of the board hold sway over Dane County law enforcement.
"I will make the effort to make the county not enforce controlled-substance laws for marijuana," he said. "The board is very influential over the Dane County Sheriff's Office and can influence their enforcement."
Lapidus said as a member of SSFC, he is sensitive to the issues and needs of his constituents — mainly students living on the west side of campus.
"I will pledge half my salary, which I think is $7,000, to the UW [SAFEride cab] to keep it going," Lapidus said. "Without funding, [SAFEride cab] won't exist anymore. I will also encourage the board to fund it, too, because the program provides a service beneficial to the county."
According to Lapidus, another key issue he will address if elected is the cleanliness of Madison's lakes. He said candidates for the board have always pledged to aid the lakes, but, when elected, have not followed through with their promises.
"I would like to fund the creation of a staff whose job it would be to deal with the lakes," he said.
Lapidus said he has past experience that qualifies him to represent District 5 on the board, pointing mainly to his two years of service under Illinois State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson, R-Glenview.
"My junior and senior years in high school, I worked for Beth Coulson, dealing with state issues in Illinois," he said. "I learned how to run a campaign, and I also learned about politics in a grassroots way, where the politician can still actually make a difference. I also learned about the importance of character for a politician."
He said his experience with Coulson has influenced his platform, which is generally to be accountable, responsible and honest in his governing.
Lapidus said he is different from Adam Korn and Ashok Kumar, his competitors in the race for seat as supervisor, in his general stance on politics.
"We all have experience in different ways," he said. "However, while the other candidates, it seems, think the government is the only entity that can make a change in society, I believe in getting individual citizens the freedom they need to make their own changes."
According to Lapidus, there are some issues with which the government must get involved, but some local politicians tend to overstep their bounds. It is much more important to be a more libertarian politician, he added.
UW sophomore Adam Korn, one of Lapidus' competitors, will hold a press conference to officially announce his candidacy for District 5 supervisor Thursday.
UW student Lauren Mielziner, Korn's campaign manager, said he boasts experience working for Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, and is pushing environmental and student issues.
"Adam is very environmentally focused. He will do his best to clean up Madison's lakes," Mielziner said. "He will also make sure students have access to emergency contraception."
Korn's announcement is at 4 p.m. at the Red Gym.