MADISON (WKOW) — Although her campaign was dramatically outspent by other mayoral contenders, Satya Rhodes-Conway paved her way onto the ballot for the Madison mayoral race in the spring election.
Rhodes-Conway took 27.7 percent of the vote compared to Mayor Paul Soglin’s 28.6 percent, according to the Dane County Clerk’s Office. Only 323 votes separated the two candidates.
“This proved people are more important than dollars,” Rhodes-Conway said to a cheering crowd at Harmony Bar and Grill in Madison as she celebrated her win.
The former Madison alder thanked her friends, supporters, and partner for their time and help along the way.
If Rhodes-Conway wins the mayoral race, she would become the first openly gay woman to be mayor of Madison, an honor she wouldn’t take lightly.
“I don’t think about myself so much as I think about young queer people who would see themselves in leadership and what that would mean to them. They could see anything is possible for them,” she said after her victory.
In her speech, Rhodes-Conway said she is looking forward to leading a clean campaign against Soglin, whom she respects. However, she and her supporters believe it’s time for a change in leadership.
“The majority of voters voted for somebody other than the current mayor, so we’re going to work hard about getting across a positive message about change in Madison and we’re going to take that all the way to April 2nd,” said Rhodes-Conway.
She knows there’s a lot of work to do and said she’s ready to get to work alongside her team. Rhodes-Conway plans to reach out to other primary candidates to ask for their support and hopes she can gain the support of their voters, too.
While taking questions on Tuesday, Rhodes-Conway said she’s spoken with voters who said she was their second choice behind Mo Cheeks or Raj Shukla, two other primary candidates.
After sleeping in on Wednesday, Rhodes-Conway said she would be making phone calls and knocking on doors to get the word out.
“May the best woman win,” she said as she smiled.