The Dane County Clerk’s Office finalized the ballot of a special election for a county board, approving two candidates to run for the vacated downtown district seat.

After obtaining all the necessary signatures, the clerk’s office confirmed Mary Kolar and C.J. Terrell as the two candidates hoping to take on the task of District 1 Representative on the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

District 1 captures the majority of the downtown area surrounding the Capitol Square, stretching from Lake Mendota to Monona, according to the Dane County website. Former District 1 Supervisor and current Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said the district is unique because there are a lot of “empty nesters” and students, yet not very many families. 

“What makes the common bond is people who like to live in urban centers with a lot of 24/7 activity,” McDonnel said.

After McDonell resigned from the seat to take on the job of Dane County Clerk late last year, a special election was deemed necessary to fill his spot.

As a resident of Madison for the majority of his life, Terrell explained he decided wanted to run to give back to the community that gave him so much. He described himself as an “out of the box” candidate.

“One of my strongest qualities is looking at things from multiple angles,” Terrell said. “I think I can use my ability to look at things outside the box to benefit the [Dane County Board of Supervisors].” 

As a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy, Kolar said running for a position on the board was her way to continue to serve her community.  

According to McDonell, candidates need to be aware of issues regarding University of Wisconsin students, since they compose a major demographic of the district.
McDonell cited transportation and the environment as the next big issues regarding students that will be an important focus for the new representative of the district. 

“I think one of the bigger problems for a lot of the student districts is that a lot of issues don’t directly affect students,” McDonell said. “A lot of it affects them indirectly.”  

According to Terrell, the main pillar of his campaign is public transit.
It is important to look at creative ways to get a lower price for buses, Terrell explained. 

Community members want transportation that is cost effective but also good quality, he said. 

“I think this is something people in Madison are adamant about,” he said. 

According to Kolar, UW students will benefit if she wins the election because of her work with Dane County leaders in the past. 

Kolar said she wants to look at increasing housing options for students. It is important for students to have the ability to stay in Dane County after graduation, she said. 

Additionally, Kolar said her platform addresses issues of human services, transportation and government efficiency.

The special election for the Dane County Board of Supervisors will be held Thursday, April 2.