Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson faces test in election

Mayor Cavalier Johnson talks to children about a new literacy site at a Milwaukee laundromat. (Photo by City of Milwaukee)

Milwaukee will hold the mayoral primary on Tuesday

By Milwaukee Courier Staff

Mayor Cavalier Johnson releases his public safety plan. (Photo by City of Milwaukee)

Interim Mayor Cavalier Johnson has only been in office for seven weeks but will face six opponents in a primary election on Tuesday, February 15.

Johnson, who continues to serve as chairman of the common council and alderman for Milwaukee’s North Side 2nd District, took office on Dec. 22, 2021, following the resignation of longtime incumbent Tom Barrett. Barrett then took up his post as Ambassador to Luxembourg.

In the weeks that followed, Johnson rolled out two public safety plans, including comprehensive strategies to address reckless driving and gun violence, and a new economic development and jobs plan for Milwaukee.

Johnson faces Sen. Lena Taylor, former Ald. Bob Donovan, businessman Michael Sampson, activist Ieshuh Griffin and Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic during the non-partisan primary election. The top two voters will face each other in the April 5 general election.

Johnson is only the second black man to serve as acting mayor and would be the first elected black mayor in city history if he wins in February and April.

Mayor Johnson speaks to the media regarding
recent armed violence. (Photo by City of Milwaukee)

Current police chief Jeff Norman said Johnson’s anti-crime plans were “more than I’ve seen in 26 years” of law enforcement service. The acting mayor has engaged dozens of stakeholder groups and individuals in developing his plans.

County executive David Crowley, the first black person to be elected to the Wisconsin county executive, offered Johnson his enthusiastic endorsement.

“Mayor Johnson is the right person for the job,” Crowley said. “He had a lifelong experience as a Milwaukee resident, raised in poverty and graduated from Milwaukee Public Schools. He has a track record of service in the community, around the world, and on behalf of his constituents as city alderman and city council president. And he has a strategic approach, an imaginative style and courage. He has demonstrated in his first weeks in office as interim mayor that he is the visionary leader the people of the city need and deserve.

“I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact Cavalier has had on our communities, and I know he will continue to bless the great people of Milwaukee once elected mayor,”

said Crowley. “I look forward to continuing to work with him as we make our neighborhoods safer, fight racial inequality and continue to grow our economy.”

Johnson also won the endorsement of State Senator LaTonya Johnson (no relation to acting mayor).

“It has been an honor for me to work with Mayor Cavalier Johnson to make our city stronger for all of us, and there is no doubt that he is the leader we need today,” said Senator LaTonya. Johnson. “He has my enthusiastic support, and together we will reinvest in Milwaukee and create a safer, stronger city.”

Polling stations are open on Election Day, Tuesday, February 15, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can register to vote if they are not already registered, with proof of identity and proof of residence, such as a driver’s license with your current address. or other legal photo ID and a current utility bill. You can find your polling station on

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