Madison mayoral candidates debate for first time

In a first lively debate, six candidates vying to be Madison’s next mayor tangled over a host of issues but also displayed humor and wit before an engaged, near-capacity crowd Wednesday at the Barrymore Theatre on the Near East Side.

The debate was largely cordial, often punctuated by laughter from the large crowd. But the candidates also offered positions on many of the major challenges facing the city, including racial equity, housing, transportation, public safety, flood prevention, economic development and actions by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in minority communities.

The candidates offered broad visions and specifics.

Shukla talked about a city that’s “equitable, sustainable and vibrant” for all who live here. Cheeks said the community must “expand what it feels like and looks like to be a Madisonian.”