Raj Shukla leads mayoral candidates in fundraising ahead of Tuesday’s primary

Shukla narrowly out-raises incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin

· Feb 14, 2019 Tweet

Maddy Phillips/The Badger Herald

In a mayoral race that continues to receive heavy funding, candidate Raj Shukla has narrowly outraised incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin by roughly $2,000.

Shukla, the executive director of River Alliance of Wisconsin, a conservation organization, announced his entrance into the race in July 2018. As chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee, he has focused on clean energy, affordable housing and transportation.

Shukla raised $37,735 from Jan. 1 through Feb. 4, the latest and final reporting period before Tuesday’s primary. Soglin narrowly missed the top spot, raising $35,336.

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Former Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway raised $31,020, while Ald. Mo Cheeks raised $15,609.

At the bottom of the fundraising rankings was city equity coordinator Toriana Pettaway, who raised $706. Comedian Nick Hart was not required to file a report because his spending didn’t exceed $2,000.

Soglin had initially announced in July 2018 that he would not be running for re-election. At the time, he had been running for the Democratic nomination for governor.

But after losing to Tony Evers in the primary, Soglin reversed his earlier decision and, in October 2018, announced he would run for mayor. If he wins, it will be his ninth term after 22 non-consecutive years in office.

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This is a key turn of events for Shukla. He had stated previously that “[Soglin’s] absence from this race … gives us all a little space to focus less on any personality and far more on the big issues we’re facing.”

For the latest reporting period, Shukla began with $66,475, raised $37,735, spent $65,271 and finished with a balance of $38,939. Soglin started with $75,138, raised $35,336, spent $37,926 and finished with a balance of $72,548. He also had an outstanding loan of $11,750.

Reports in mid-January reported Ald. Mo Cheeks led in early fundraising. At the time, Cheeks raised $113,118 for the period from July 1 through Dec. 31. Across the six candidates, $333,000 was raised, “dwarfing” recent mayoral races.

In the candidates’ first debate in early January, the candidates discussed key issues like racial equity, immigration policy, housing, transportation, public safety, flood prevention and economic development.

The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary will be on the ballot for the April 2 general election.


This article was published Feb 14, 2019 at 7:36 pm and last updated Feb 14, 2019 at 7:36 pm


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