Green candidate for state rep. in Wisconsin endorsed by former Democratic primary contender and mayor

The following is a press release from the Ben Manski for state legislature campaign in Wisconsin:

MADISON – After the September 14th primary, Democratic assembly candidate and former Middleton Mayor Doug Zwank wasted no time announcing his strong support of Ben Manski for Wisconsin’s 77th Assembly District.

In his statement, Mayor Zwank said that, “I think Ben Manski is a fresh new face for District 77 and offers voters a strong alternative to the same old politics as usual. He is energetic, honest and forward thinking. With the gridlock in the legislature, we need Ben to represent the best interests of the people. I wholeheartedly support Ben Manski, the person who will re-establish my confidence in state government. It’s time for we voters to take back our state government and make it responsible to us, not PACs and special interest groups.”

Mayor Zwank’s support of Manski is the first in a series of important endorsements to be made public in the coming days and weeks. Since last week’s primary, the Manski campaign has received a cascade of contributions, well-wishes, and requests for campaign materials from voters who had supported Zwank, Wade, Imes, and Hesselbein in the Democratic primary. As Manski says, “Doug has defied partisanship and chosen progress, and I’m grateful for his support.”

Unlike his opponent, who took $192,000 from the coal industry to lobby against the environmental movement, Ben Manski has a long and consistent history of activism as a vocal leader in the fight for public education, the environment, workers rights, equal rights, and democratic reform. As the only candidate in the race who grew up in the 77th District, and lived there most of his life, Manski is drawing on a lifetime of achievement as his campaign picks up speed.

Concluded Mayor Zwank, “Even though I ran as a Democrat for Assembly District 77, I was very honest in expressing my dissatisfaction with both the Democratic and Republican parties. Both have lost sight of the people, and seem focused on issues that will generate the most campaign contributions for their re-election from PACs and special interest groups. The two parties also load the laws to favor incumbents and their own endorsed politicians.”

For more information, visit the campaign website at

One thought on “Green candidate for state rep. in Wisconsin endorsed by former Democratic primary contender and mayor

  1. Ross Levin Post author

    There’s also an article about this and other endorsements in the race:

    Progressive Dane just announced its support for Green Party candidate Ben Manski in the 77th Assembly District. No surprise here –– Manski was a former leader in the group. However, with Brett Hulsey as the Democratic nominee, it was unlikely that Progressive Dane was not going to endorse a third party candidate. A look around the blogosphere displays the suspicion and outright contempt many on the Madison left have for the veteran of the County Board.

    The most important endorsement Hulsey has won comes from The Sierra Club, for whom he used to work. In its supports for him over the Green Candidate, Hulsey has a good counter to Manski’s characterization of him as a special interest hack, especially with regards to his work for Alliant Energy.

    What will be interesting to see is how former supporters of Hesselbein act in the race. Sup. Al Matano, who is supported by both the Democrats and Progressive Dane, is the only one to endorse Manski yet. Others, such as student-area Ald. Bryon Eagon, Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff and Sup. Analiese Eicher, who was Hesselbein’s campaign manager, are loyal Democrats, and will probably endorse Hulsey. What will Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway do? I would guess she supports Manski, if anybody at all.

    Although Progressive Dane does not require a “blood oath,” as one PD member put it, members of the County Board and Council who only affiliate with it and not the Dems will likely support Manski. Ald. Marsha Rummel, for instance, as well as County Board Sup. Barb Vedder.

    An endorsement that would be meaningful but that likely nobody is going to get is that of Ald. Mike Verveer. A PD/Dem, Verveer tends to stay out of primaries and fights between his two parties. He is easily the most influential alder on campus. In addition to his reputation for helping kids out, he has the ear of the campus press, who uses him on a near-daily basis in its coverage of city affairs.

    Also notably are the non-endorsements from left-leaning organizations. For instance, as Peter Rickmann so kindly shared below, AFT voted not to endorse. The League of Conservation Voters have also chosen to stay out of the race.

    I would guess Manski needs a near-monopoly on progressive endorsements to be competitive in the race. That is unlikely to happen, however, since few progressive leaders see Hulsey as so unacceptable that they need to campaign forcefully against him. Moreover, while there is plenty of resentment for Hulsey, Manski has made enemies in the locale as well. Hence, many of Hesselbein’s former supporters will likely remain silent.

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