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Election forums underway

As the spring election approaches on April 5, local groups are holding forums to help voters get to know their candidates.

The spring election will be held on Tuesday, April 5.

To appear on the ballot, candidates had to file paperwork with their local clerk by Tuesday, Jan. 4, but candidates can still register until April 1 as a write-in. Their names won’t appear on the ballot. Under Wisconsin law, votes entered for a candidate will only be counted if they have registered as a write-in.

Visit the website of your municipality to learn about absentee voting options, and the location of your polling place. To register to vote before election day, visit

There will be a candidate forum for contested seats on the Dane County Board of Supervisors on Sunday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. virtually.

The forum will be hosted by East Side Progressives, a political group prioritizing social justice based on Madison’s east side, will host the forum.

East Side Progressives said in a social media post about the forum that conversation topics at the forum will include the proposed jail expansion, redevelopment of the Alliant Energy Center, fair housing, social justice and others.

Candidates participating in the forum include Sarah Smith and Clint Keaveny, two candidates running for the District 24 seat on the county board representing Monona; and Melissa Ratcliff and Andrew McKinney, two candidates vying for the District 36 seat representing Cottage Grove.

Other candidates participating include Rick Rose for District 16, and Jacob Wright for District 17. Both of those districts represent Madison’s far east side.

There is also a contested race for McFarland’s Dane County Board Supervisor seat, between incumbent Patrick Miles and Herb Taylor, both of McFarland, to represent District 34. The candidates in this race will not be featured in the forum.

The Monona East Side Business Alliance is holding a candidate forum on Wednesday, March 16 with District 24 candidates Clint Keaveny and Sarah Smith.

The McFarland Cable Channel held a virtual forum for candidates in the McFarland School Board and McFarland Village Board races on Saturday, March 12. Both of those races are contested. For coverage of that forum, see Page A5.

The Monona City Council and Cottage Grove Village Board will see turnover of board representation, but these will likely not be contested races.

Two of three incumbents up for reelection on the Cottage Grove Village Board will not seek another term on the board. Troy Allen and Paul VanderVelde have announced their non-candidacy. Village Trustee Melissa Ratcliff is also up for reelection, and will run again. Joining Ratcliff will be Brittany Ballweg and Christopher Stoa.

All three incumbents up for reelection on the Monona City Council will not run again. Current city alders Molly Grupe, Jennifer Kuhr and Kristie Goforth will not seek reelection. Candidates Patrick DePula, Teresa Radermacher and Brian Holmquist have put their names on the ballot to replace the current alders.

The Cottage Grove Town Board and the Monona Grove School Board will likely not see any representation changes.