Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said the group trying to recall her is “a small group of conservative right-wing folks” trying to divide the community.

“I understand that there are some people who are unhappy,” Rhodes-Conway said in an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with

“But I am focused every moment of every day on doing the job the people of Madison asked me to do, and that certainly includes keeping everyone safe,” she said.

A local businessman last week filed paperwork to launch the “Recall Satya 2020” committee, saying Rhodes-Conway didn’t do enough to protect the city during recent civil unrest. Dozens of State Street businesses were looted and vandalized, and some business owners said they won’t reopen.

“UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen noted the group has 60 days to collect more than 36,000 signatures to force a recall election, asking Rhodes-Conway how concerned she is about the effort.

“You know, I think this is a small group of right-wing folks who are trying to divide our community at a time when we really need to be coming together, and focusing on how we move forward as a community,” Rhodes-Conway said.

Rhodes-Conway called the violence “unacceptable.”

“We need to be very clear as a community that that level of violence is just not acceptable here in Madison,” she said.

Also on the program, Milwaukee County’s director of emergency medical services said health officials will be challenged to prevent a surge of coronavirus cases that could overwhelm hospitals.

Dr. Ben Weston said the state and Milwaukee County “did a great job” of preventing a surge when COVID-19 first broke out earlier this year.

But novel coronavirus cases are rising again, and Weston said “national trends .. are very concerning.”

“We look all around the country, and we see the country going in the wrong direction, and there’s no reason to think that’s not going to happen in Wisconsin. We’re seeing signs of it starting to happen in Wisconsin,” Weston said.

He said the face mask mandates that some communities are imposing plus continued physical distancing when people are outside of their homes will help control the spread.

See more from the program:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email