[media-credit name=’LEAH BELLACK/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]Woulf_LB[/media-credit]

University of Wisconsin junior Mark Woulf officially announced his candidacy for the District 8 alder seat Wednesday night.

Woulf was the last of the four candidates to officially announce his candidacy for District 8, hoping to replace departing Alder Eli Judge. Other candidates for the City Council position include three other UW students: junior Brian Eagon, graduate student Katrina Flores and junior Jacob Schmidt.

The cornerstone of Woulf’s campaign is student safety on campus and in the downtown area because 98 percent of the district is comprised of students.

“The most important issue to me is the well-being of the students in my district,” Woulf said.

Part of Woulf’s safety platform confronts the issue of underage drinking.

Woulf said local law enforcement devotes too many resources to seeking underage drinkers in bars and house parties, therefore missing the serious crimes that occur out on the street.

“On any given weekend night you have six officers trying to bust house parties on Mifflin alone,” Woulf said.

Woulf says his experience as the undergraduate representative on the Associated Students of Madison’s Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force has prepared him to tackle the issue of student safety.

Woulf said he also plans to tackle the issue of pollution in the district, specifically the Charter Street Coal Plant, one of the leading polluters in the greater Madison area. Woulf proposes a transition to a co-generation power plant that uses cleaner burning natural gas.

Additionally, Woulf proposes a new initiative to require landlords to wait until after winter break to start signing housing leases. He says this will decrease the disadvantage new UW students face when signing leases early in the fall.

To further protect tenants’ rights, Woulf will also push for a new program designed to settle disputes between students and landlords over security deposit deductions.

There was some controversy last semester over Woulf’s candidacy when it was discovered he did not live within the boundaries of District 8.

Alder election law states that a candidate must reside within the district he or she is running for at least 10 days before the primary election.

As a result, Woulf recently moved to Spring Street, which lies within District 8.

Woulf plans to campaign in a series of small forums, inviting students to come and voice issues most important to them.

“I think that going door-to-door and having a stranger confronting students turns students off,” Woulf said.

The District 8 primary election is Feb. 17 and the general election is April 7.

Judge had no comment on which candidate he will endorse; however, he plans to endorse an aldermanic hopeful after he meets with all of the candidates.

“I am looking for a candidate who I know will make sure that the alder of the 8th is the alder of the 8th,” Judge said.