Mayoral candidates bring diverse histories, views in historic race

Five candidates with diverse histories, experience and vision will be on the primary ballot in a historic race to lead Madison, a city flush with economic vitality and resources but facing challenges involving racial disparities, increasing violence, affordable housing and homelessness.

Mayor Paul Soglin, who has held the office far longer than anyone in Madison history, faces Ald. Maurice Cheeks; former Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway, who works for the UW-Madison think tank Center on Wisconsin Strategy; Raj Shukla, executive director of the conservation organization River Alliance of Wisconsin; and comedian Nick Hart in a Feb. 19 primary.

Toriana Pettaway, the city’s racial equity coordinator, fell two signatures short on her nominating petitions, collecting 198 of the 200 valid signatures needed to appear on the primary ballot.