The race to replace outgoing Democratic state Sen. Mark Miller has drawn an independent candidate, ensuring the race will continue after the Aug. 11 primary in the heavily Democratic district.
Monona Grove School Board president Andrew McKinney said he’s running to replace Miller, who announced last week he will retire when his term expires in early 2021. Online news outlet Madison365 first reported on McKinney’s announcement.
McKinney said he has a distinctive background and would push for increased funding for public education, combat homelessness among students and veterans, and address mental health among single-parent and low-income households.
“I have compassion,” McKinney said. “I listen to people that have problems, and I try to resolve them. I’m not a typical politician — I don’t think I am a politician. I just think I would be a spark, something different.”
McKinney said his experience as a homeless man for about five months in the mid-1990s after leaving the military has pushed him to address homelessness.
McKinney is a veteran of the Gulf War and has a background in education. He currently serves as a community school site coordinator at CH Bird Elementary School in Sun Prairie and is the first black president of the Monona Grove School Board.
McKinney grew up in Gary, Indiana, but moved to Madison to finish high school. McKinney has been a Democrat in other races but said he has chosen to run as an independent because the Democratic Party has moved too far left and both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed to produce results.
“Our constituents vote us in to do a job, not to argue and bicker and not come up with any results,” McKinney said.
McKinney’s announcement follows that of Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, who has also launched a bid. Others considering a run for the 16th District seat include Assembly Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg; 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former state Rep. Kelda Roys, and Madison Ald. Samba Baldeh.
Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!
Stay up-to-date on the latest in local and national government and political topics with our newsletter.