Vote for Marilyn


Russ Feingold endorses Marilyn Townsend

russ feingold endorses marilyn townsend


The Capitol Times Endorses Marilyn Townsend

Dane County has a fine Circuit Court bench, with many able and experienced jurists from many backgrounds. But that does not mean that it could not be strengthened by a new judge with the background and experience to bring a broader perspective to the local judiciary.

Shorewood Hills Municipal Judge Marilyn Townsend would be such a judge, and she runs in the April 3 election with our endorsement.


elect marilyn townsend to dane county court wisconsin politics

Marilyn is running for Branch 1, of the Dane County Circuit Court, a seat that will be up for election in the non-partisan election in April 2018. Her commitment to serve Dane County is strong. Already, she has earned the endorsement of more than 550 public supporters. The list is long, bi-partisan, and growing and includes 37 Judges, 12 members of the Dane County Board including the Chair of the Board; the President of the Madison City Council; and over 125 attorneys from many areas of the law.


Marilyn Townsend will bring a unique combination of judicial and legal experience to the Dane County Court.

Elected three times as the Municipal Judge in Shorewood Hills, Judge Townsend has overseen and decided more than 3,000 cases. She has earned a reputation as a conscientious and impartial Judge who is respectful to all who come before her.

She is also a strong proponent of initiatives that help reduce racial disparity in our justice system. She has been a leader in offering defendants, when appropriate, the opportunity to avoid a record, by postponing sentencing to allow them to receive drug and alcohol assessment and treatment, or by offering community service as an alternative to a conviction. 

As an attorney for three decades, Marilyn has worked tirelessly to protect civil rights, defended working families, and obtained justice for those who have been discriminated against because of disability, age, gender, or race. 

Respected as a tenacious and effective advocate, Marilyn has handled cases in administrative proceedings, in United States Federal Court, and in Circuit Courts. In 2017, she won a case, in an uncommon unanimous decision, in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, challenging a new Wisconsin law that denied unemployment benefits to an employee. That case will have a positive impact, throughout Wisconsin, for individuals who earn the right to unemployment payments.

Active in both the legal and wider community, Marilyn volunteers at the Unemployment Compensation Appeals Clinic and the Veterans Law Clinic. She is a past president of the Legal Association for Women (LAW). She served as an elected member of her local village board. She is currently a member of the Dane County NAACP Criminal Justice Committee.


Honorary  Campaign Committee

Jair Alvarez, Attorney

Jon Axelrod, Attorney

Carousel Bayrd, Dane County Supervisor

Ralph Cagle, Attorney, Past President, State Bar of Wisconsin

David Clarenbach, Co-Chair, Former legislator and LGBT pioneer

Frances Huntley Cooper, Former Fitchburg Mayor


John Imes, Shorewood Village Board Member

Rebecca Kemble, Madison Alder

Kathleen Garvey McNeil, Attorney

Dave Newby, President Emeritus, Wisconsin AFL-CIO

Michele Ritt, Dane County Supervisor

Bob Salov, Dane County Supervisor

Eric Schulenburg, Attorney

Vicky Selkowe, Attorney

Jeff Spitzer Resnick, Attorney

Shelia  Stubbs, Dane County Supervisor

Nia Enemuoh-Trammell, Co-chair, Attorney and administrative law judge