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Once-in-a-generation election: 20 Democrats seek four open Madison legislative seats

Once-in-a-generation election: 20 Democrats seek four open Madison legislative seats

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A long list of candidates is set to compete in the Aug. 11 primary for four open Madison-area legislative seats, a once-in-a-generation shot for an entirely new crop of local Democratic leaders to head to the Capitol.

Twenty candidates are set to face off in this month’s Democratic fall primary after four area legislators, including the longest-serving lawmaker in U.S. history, Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, decided not to seek re-election this year.

The vacancies come as several candidates have announced their departures from the Republican-controlled state Senate, producing a heavy turnover in that chamber.

Republicans currently control the Senate 19-14 and control the Assembly 63-36.

For the four heavily Democratic Madison-area seats where the incumbent isn’t running, the winners of the Democratic primary will almost certainly win their seats in the November general election. The four candidates who win will likely have the name recognition to stay in those positions for as long as they want.

The candidates running to represent the Madison area this year bring a wealth of experience, ranging from young and diverse political upstarts to a former gubernatorial candidate. Others bring experience in law, economic development, small business, policing and local government.

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