Robb Kahl is making a bid for the Wisconsin assembly in the newly restructured 47th district. The move isn’t a shocker, but many were surprised that Kahl is running as a democrat. In Kahl’s time as Monona’s mayor, he worked to avoid saying what ‘party’ he was part of. But many saw him as a moderate conservative. There were rumors he was trying to land a job with the Walker administration. He donated money to republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. But a few rumors and contributions don’t necessarily paint a full picture. Thus, Kahl is running as a democrat and pulling in lots of endorsements from local party leaders (Monona Mayor Bob Miller, former Madison Mayor Dave Cieselwicz, and Senator John Erpenbach – to name a few).
One interesting holdout, however, is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL- CIO (AFSCME). The powerful AFSCME union is reportedly balking with regard to endorsing Kahl at this time – perhaps waiting to see if someone more appealing emerges. Dane County board member Patrick Miles, of McFarland, has recently announced his candidacy for the democratic nomination as well. I don’t know if anyone else has announced – or will announce – their candidacy.
AFSCME’s support would be a huge feather for any candidate in the Dane County area. No county was probably more affected by the cuts to state workers – and they will come out in droves – the majority (I’m guessing) against Walker – and other republicans running for office. Perhaps Kahl’s previously ‘undeclared’ loyalty has made AFSCME wary of him. We shall see. No matter what democrat wins, the union will support that person over any republican challenger.