Dane County voters narrowed the slate of Board of Supervisors candidates in three districts in a primary election Tuesday.
In District 6, the county’s most contested race, candidates Pam Porter and Yogesh Chawla pulled ahead of Britt Cudaback and Heather Driscoll. Porter received 40.7 percent of the votes with Chawla earning 37.4 percent.
Porter is a former aide to former County Executive Kathleen Falk, has served as Clean Wisconsin’s executive director and is currently a research manager at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.
“I’m super grateful to earn the support of my neighbors, and I hope to get my neighbors' support again in April,” Porter said.
The general election is April 3.
District 6 is bordered by Blair Street, East Washington Avenue, Lake Monona and Stoughton Road on Madison’s east side and was previously represented by John Hendrick, who chose not to run for re-election.
Chawla emphasized that if elected, he will take the lead on criminal justice issues facing the county, expanding renewable energy and cleaning up the lakes.
“District 6 is looking for a candidate with a deep connection to the neighborhood to represent us,” Chawla, a public safety software architect, said.
Defeated candidates Driscoll and Cudaback earned 12.3 percent and 9.4 percent of the vote respectively.
In District 11 on the near west side, incumbent Al Matano pulled through the primary with 48.4 percent of the vote and ahead of challenger Kelly Danner by 309 votes.
“I had a chance to talk to so many voters and neighbors in the past few months, and I’m really looking forward to more,” Danner, a first time candidate, said.
Matano, who has not faced a challenger in 10 years and has been on the board for 18, said he has more campaign work to do and will keep running on his record. If re-elected, Matano plans to continue working on transportation improvements in the county in addition to mental health, homelessness and criminal justice issues.
Steven Peters and and Brent Renteria are running for the District 15 seat. Though a third candidate, Joseph Ryan, was on the ballot Tuesday, he had previously dropped out of the race.
Peters received 61.4 percent of the votes compared to the 25.4 percent Renteria earned.
Voter turnout, measured by the percent of registered voters that cast ballots, in Tuesday’s primary exceeded previous years at 25.5 percent.
In last year's primary, the voter turnout was 17.5 percent, according to the Dane County clerk’s office. In the 2017 primary, voter turnout was 21 percent and 13 percent in the 2015 primary.
A handful of new candidates are running for the Dane County Board of Supervisors in the general election. Julie Schwellenbach is running unopposed for the District 20 seat, which was vacated by Dennis O’Loughlin.
Tonya Buckingham and Anna Gouker are running in District 24, which was previously represented by Robin Schmidt and includes the city of Monona. Schmidt chose not to run for re-election. In District 32, Jacob Luginbuhl and Jason Knoll are vying for Mike Willett’s former seat.