Three contested elections for Dane County Board

Tiffany Pearson, Staff Writer

When Dane County voters go to the polls on April 5, they will find the big races — presidential primary and Wisconsin Supreme Court – but for the majority of races, voters will be asked to determine local races including municipal and school districts and several races centered on supervisors for the Dane County Board.

While most races for County Board are uncontested, there are three that have two contenders in City of Madison wards. Those include District 1 (Mary Kolar facing Rob Dz Franklin), District 5 (Hayley Young and Angelito Tenorio), and District 18 (Michele Ritt and Adam Tobias).

The Dane County Board of Supervisors is a body of government comprised of 37 elected supervisors from each of the districts in the county. The Board acts similarly to the state legislature in that it is the policy-making body of the County government.

District 5 covers the University of Wisconsin Madison campus and part of downtown Madison. For District 5 Board Supervisor, Angeltio Tenorio, a UW-Madison student, will be running against Hayley Young, who is currently working with a nonprofit focusing on energy efficiency and sustainability. If elected, Tenorio says he will focus on student issues including affordable housing, mental health and sexual assault. Hayley Young’s focus centers on tackling racial disparities and continuing to implement Madison lakes cleanup programs.

District 18 is located on the north side of Madison and the election will be between two-year incumbent Michele Ritt and Adam Tobias. Ritt’s position is to continue to focus on water quality and expanding economic opportunities. Tobias takes a position on protecting our parks and waterways, homelessness, mental disease and drug abuse.

District 1, which covers most of downtown Madison, is between 2-year incumbent and retired Navy captain Mary Kolar, and community activist Rob Dz Franklin. Kolar takes a position of ensuring that taxpayer dollars are invested and allocated wisely. If elected, Franklin has said he will focus on racial disparities and cleaning up the lakes. This is a high profile election, drawing attention based on Franklin’s active role in the local hip-hop and music scene.

Franklin could not be reached for a comment. He has worked with the Boys and Girls Club, Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and Joining Forces for Families.

When Kolar was asked why she is running, she answered, “I’ve dedicated my life to serving others to ensure everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Downtown Madison residents know I strive to ensure all Dane County citizens have services and opportunities for a safe home, good health, great education, and family-supporting employment.”

Kolar adds, “We must eliminate the gap between access and achievement. The Wisconsin system of proven success has been stripped of its funding and the students that depend on it saddled with debilitating student loan debt. I am committed to do what I can for all students in Dane County. I know what a successful education system and enriching education experience can do. I want to bring back that standard. I ensure that the voices in my district are heard. I continue to fight for our environment, keep our downtown neighborhoods safe and secure, and lead the effort to reduce homelessness.”

Kolar emphasizes “I will continue to advocate for downtown Madison and Dane County as the District 1 Supervisor. Housing First programs help us improve the lives of those who need our assistance most. Another is to prioritize vital early childhood programs. Trauma caused by hunger, violence, instability, and drug abuse prevents personal achievement. We must reach children early to ensure their success. Also, as an employer, I’ve ‘walked the talk’ by hiring formerly homeless veterans.”

For more information on the above candidates in detail, visit: