Contact: Melissa Mulliken, 608/206-1818

Marilyn Townsend has been endorsed by 61 judges in her campaign for Dane County Circuit Court.

Judge Townsend, elected three times as Shorewood Hills Municipal Court Judge, has earned support from more Judges than her opponent. They come from throughout the Wisconsin judiciary and include Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, Judge Paul Higginbotham, Judge Gary Sherman, Judge Charles Dykman, Judge Dan Koval, Judge John Hyland, and Judge Dan LaRocque. A up-to-date list is on her website at

“I’ve worked with Marilyn in municipal courts and she has established herself as one of Dane County’s outstanding municipal judges,” said Judge Hyland of the Dane County Circuit Court who served as Municipal Court Judge in Waunakee before being elected to the Dane County Court. “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.”

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg said, “Marilyn’s 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.”

Retired Court of Appeals Judge Paul Higginbotham, who served as a Municipal Court Judge and a Circuit Court Judge before becoming the first, and to date only, African American Judge to serve of the Court of Appeals said, “Marilyn Townsend has earned my support because of her first-rate legal skills, her judicial experience, and her proven commitment to equal justice for all. In my career, I served as a municipal judge, a circuit court judge, and as a court of appeals judge: I know well what it takes to be a good judge and Marilyn has those qualities – independence, integrity, and intelligence. Courts are also better off when judges bring diverse life and legal experiences to the job. Marilyn’s perspective will both strengthen the Dane Circuit Court and serve the people of Dane County well.”

Judge Marilyn Townsend has overseen and decided more than 3,000 cases as a Municipal Court Judge. She has been a leader in utilizing the options available to provide defendants 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. She is also a civil rights and public interest attorney who won an important case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court just last year on behalf of a worker who had been unfairly denied unemployment benefits. Active in the community, she volunteers at the Unemployment Compensation Appeals Clinic and the Veterans Law Clinic. She is a member of the Dane County NACCP Criminal Justice Committee and is a past president of the Legal Association for Women.

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