Our Wisconsin Revolution hosted a forum for sixteen candidates running for the Dane County Board of Supervisors Thursday night.

The forum was moderated by professors at the University of Wisconsin and OWR members Giuliana Chamedes and Michael Bell.

All 37 seats on the Dane County Board are up for election this year, with only five contested races for districts 6, 11, 15, 24 and 32. Participant candidates at the forum were:

  1. Heidi Wegleitner (incumbent) and Anna Groker, District 2
  2. Jacob Luginbuhl and Jason Knoll, District 32
  3. Tanya Buchingham, District 24
  4. Jeff Pertl, District 17
  5. Steven Peters, District 15
  6. Chuck Erickson, District 13
  7. Al Matano, Kelly Danner and Nancy Bogue, District 11
  8. Pam Porter, Heather Driscoll, Britt Cudaback and Yogesh Chawli, District 6
  9. Richard Kilmer; District 4

Candidates were primarily questioned about what their top two policies would be if elected.

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Common issues for the candidates were racial disparities throughout Madison and possible ways to improve water quality in Dane County.

“Dane County is a great place to live for many people, but we are failing our minorities, and disproportionately locking up people of color,” Chawli said. “I want to work to change that.”

The moderators, who asked questions written by the forum’s audience, then brought the conversation to Madison’s homeless population, the spending of tax dollars and the raising of the minimum wage for county workers.

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The audience was also concerned with the transparency of the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Many candidates said Dane County Board meetings should be more open to the public, which would encourage more involvement from voters.

“We do not operate very transparently or very openly, and that makes it hard for citizens who want to get involved in any issue to get engaged with county government,” Wegleitner said.

The candidates finished with a minute of closing remarks, stating their reason for running and enforcing their top issues.

Partisan primary elections for Dane County Board will be on Feb. 20, with the general election following on April 3.