Contact: Melissa Mulliken, Campaign Director

Marilyn Townsend, the Municipal Judge for Shorewood Hills and an attorney with 35 years of experience, is a candidate for Dane County Judge. Townsend has filed to run for Branch 1, the seat once held by Judge John Markson, who retired in June 2017.

“I am running for Judge because I care deeply about fairness and equal justice in our courts. For my entire legal career – as an attorney handling civil rights and employment cases and as a municipal judge – I have focused on making sure everyone gets a fair shake.  I want to put my unique combination of legal and judicial experience to work as a County Judge, to improve our court system, to build on what is working, and to serve as an impartial and independent judge, for all the people of Dane County,” Townsend said.

Already, Townsend has earned the endorsement of more than 370 public supporters including judges, attorneys, elected officials, and community leaders. The list is bi-partisan and growing. The most current list is at her website,

“I’ve worked with Marilyn in municipal courts and she has established herself as one of Dane County’s outstanding municipal judges,” said Dane County Circuit Court Judge John Hyland. “She’ll bring the same even temperament, knowledge of the law, and impartiality to the Dane County Bench. She also understands the challenges our courts face in terms of racial disparity and access to justice. She will be an active, collaborative part of finding solutions.”  Townsend has been elected three times as Municipal Judge, and has overseen or decided more than 3,000 cases.

“Marilyn’s proven ability to handle complex legal cases, her deep involvement in the community, and her dedication to improving our legal system to ensure fairness and equal access to our courts will make her a fine Circuit Court Judge,” said Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg.

The non-partisan election will be held in April 2018.

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