Some Voices: New Members Bring Conservative Views to Blue Dane County Board of Directors | Local government

Rockwell, 19th District, vice president of American Extractions, a biotech company, declined to answer questions about his political views for this story.

The two newcomers do not have much power to influence the overall political direction of the 37-member board. But they made the small, conservative minority on the council much louder. And they exert their influence on a major committee, the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for making recommendations on public security and criminal justice issues.


Supper. Dave Ripp, from the 29th arrondissement, who once identified himself as a libertarian and is conservative in some areas while also being an advocate for the environment, said he had “grown used to being the minority”.

A member of the Dane County Board of Directors for over 37 years, Ripp remembers a few years in the 1990s when the Tories formed the majority of the board. Since then, conservative representation has steadily declined.

Dane County Council

Dane County Sup. Dave Ripp says it’s always difficult for conservative voices to impact county decisions.


The Liberals regained control in the early 2000s. In 2003, there were 16 Tories on the board, Ripp said after reviewing the county board records. In 2006, that number dropped to nine, and in 2016, it dropped to seven.

In recent years, Ripp said, he’s been largely the only one voicing the Tory point of view on the board. He declined to identify board members who he said are more moderate liberals because he did not want them to be criticized for not being “liberal enough”. He noted that he thought Rockwell was “a bit more moderate” than Weigand, based on his vote.

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