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'It's a sprint': Milwaukee mayoral candidates rush to gather signatures

Posted at 10:18 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-27 23:18:52-05

MILWAUKEE — One of the first steps in running for mayor of Milwaukee is getting enough signatures to get your name on the ballot.

After the resignation of former Mayor Tom Barrett, candidates are getting a little more than two weeks to make deadline.

On Monday after the holiday weekend, many of them were getting to work.

"We've hit the ground running," said State Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee). "I've got on my Chucks, we pulled out some old shirts and sweatshirts, we've been knocking on doors, making phone calls."

"We've reached out to a lot of volunteers," said Bob Donovan. "But it's difficult, it's a challenge certainly around the holidays. But, it's a challenge I'm certain we will rise to."

Candidates need at least 1,500 signatures by Jan. 11 to get their name on the ballot for the Feb. 15 spring primary election. It's a shorter turnaround than usual given the special mayoral election.

Each of the candidates TMJ4 News spoke to on Monday said they believe they can do it.

"It's the time frame that all of us have to deal with," said Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas. "We're going to go out, we hope to have all signatures completed by the end of the week."

"It's holidays, it's a shorter time period, and we have Covid, so just like everyone, it is a challenge," said Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. "We believe we'll get it done, we're up for the challenge."

"I feel confident I can get it done," said Michael Sampson. "I got a pretty good support system with friends and family around me. But like I said, it's a sprint. It's going to be tough."

Eight people are running for mayor of Milwaukee: Sheila Conley-Patterson, Marina Dimitrijevic, Bob Donovan, Cavalier Johnson, Earnell Lucas, Nick McVey, Michael Sampson, and Lena Taylor.

"I've got a great team around me and we're going to be doing a lot of work over the next several weeks and months," said Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson.

TMJ4 News reached out to every campaign Monday.

Some candidates said they immediately got started collecting signatures last Thursday, when now-Ambassador Barrett was sworn in and the mayoral race officially began.

Milwaukee will officially have a newly-elected mayor after the April 5 spring election.

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