Two District 5 seat hopefuls for the Dane County Board of Supervisors officially announced their candidacies Tuesday.
Michael Johnson and Analiese Eicher both held press conferences formally announcing their candidacy for the position of District 5 supervisor, the district that contains the University of Wisconsin campus area.
Johnson co-founded the student chapter of Progressive Dane and more recently has worked with the city’s Affirmative Action Committee. He said his commitments to the community reflect his experience as an activist and community organizer.
“Not only being an activist on the outside, but being an advocate on the inside, brings my broad and unique experiences together to make me qualified and hopefully successful for this position,” Johnson said.
Johnson previously ran for the District 8 City Council seat, but withdrew. He has since worked on numerous other local government campaigns including those of Katrina Flores, who ran for City Council District 8 against current Ald. Bryon Eagon, and former District 2 alder Brenda Konkel who lost last year’s election to current Ald. Bridget Maniaci.
Johnson added his experience in the community and familiarity with many of the issues pertinent to the city informs much of his platform. He added he intends to seek endorsement from Progressive Dane, the Democratic Party of Dane County and the Four Lakes Green Party.
“I think what sets him apart is his ability to bridge the gap between regular community members and the activist community,” said Brandon Johnson, the campaign’s community outreach coordinator. “He represents the thought, ‘OK, we have common goals, we have a voice through this man and by working together we can and will build a better community.'”
Johnson’s opponent Eicher contrasted the former’s claim of “knowledge and vision” with her own “experience and passion.”
Eicher said some of her commitments will be to protecting the local economy and preserving the natural beauty of the city and its surrounding lakes.
A senior at UW, Eicher said her experience in addressing the needs and concerns of students will enable her to have a concrete grasp of how to best represent the district.
“I’m constantly inspired by the people around me and the actions they take,” Eicher said. “Their general drive pushes me to do the best that I can do in terms of representing what I believe in and the beliefs and concerns of the students.”
Eicher has interned with and campaigned for U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and the Associated Students of Madison, and is also a member of College Democrats. She added her experience with the successful campaign of former District 8 Ald. Eli Judge and his subsequent successor Eagon has enabled her to better understand the intricacies of local government.
“I think ultimately for me, it comes down to the students; I’ve been involved here and I’ve seen it firsthand every day,” Eicher said. “I think the main piece to representing the students is having a strong presence in the community.”
These two progressive candidates are so far the only two to formally announce their candidacy for the District 5 seat.