Two University of Wisconsin freshmen declared they are running for the campus district in the Madison City Council after incumbent Ald. Zach Wood said he would not seek reelection.

Avra Reddy, 19, and Matthew Mitnick, 18, both announced their candidacies Friday. Wood, a UW alumnus who has held the seat for the past four years, said Wednesday he would not be seeking reelection.

“I have always believed that representation matters, especially in government. That’s why I ran for this seat in the first place,” Wood wrote on Facebook. “I no longer believe I am the person to best fill the role, and I have no qualms about stepping aside and creating room for new, young leaders in our community to step up.”

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Wood’s seat, District 8, covers most of UW’s campus and all of its student campus housing.

Reddy said she was inspired by the political campaigns she’s worked on and the record-breaking number of women of color who ran for office.

“These women have inspired me to make a difference in a new way,” Reddy wrote on Facebook. “Together we will fight for more affordable housing, and increased safety on campus; we will fight for student rights and change in our community.”

Mitnick, who is studying political science, cited his experience in politics, which includes interning with the Associated Students of Madison and the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. He said he also founded a student chapter of the International City/County Management Association, a professional management and education organization that advocates for effective local government.

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His agenda includes affordable housing, student engagement, flood prevention, safety and social justice. According to his press release, he has been endorsed by Dane County Board Supervisor Tanya Buckingham.

Inspired by his parents who were both public servants, Mitnick said he knows what it means to serve others.

“Students should have the ability to express their opinions to enact change,” Mitnick said. “As my constituent, you will be
my boss — I will work for you to make our community better and stronger.”

The primary for the seat will be held Feb. 19, and elections will be held April 2.