MILWAUKEE — The candidate list for the Milwaukee mayoral election is likely set now that the Jan. 11 deadline to submit at least 1,500 signatures to be put on the ballot has passed.
According to the city’s election commission’s online records, seven candidates turned in their paperwork on time. Descriptions of each candidate are below.
With former Mayor Tom Barrett starting a new role as the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, there will be a special election to fill his spot. On Feb. 15 a primary will be held, with the top two from the primary advancing to the general election on April 5 to determine the next mayor of Milwaukee. The winner will finish the remaining two years of Barrett's term which will end on April 16, 2024.
Here are the seven candidates listed alphabetically by last name.
Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic
Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic was born and raised in Milwaukee. In 2004, she became the youngest ever woman to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. She was re-elected four times. In 2020, she was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council as the representative of the 14th District. Marina For MKE
Bob Donovan, former Milwaukee Alderman
Bob Donovan was born and raised in Milwaukee. He held various jobs at the beginning of his career. In the 1990s, he became involved in community activism and organization. Donovan became the District 8 alderman in 2008. He served in that position for two decades and retired in 2020. In 2016, he launched an unsuccessful bid for Milwaukee mayor. Bob Donovan for Milwaukee Mayor
Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson
Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson was born and raised in Milwaukee. He has spent much of his life in local politics and as a community organizer. In 2016, Johnson was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council to represent the 2nd District. In 2020, he was re-elected and chosen to be the Common Council President. He became the acting mayor on Dec. 23 when former Mayor Tom Barrett became Ambassador to Luxembourg. Cavalier For Milwaukee
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas
Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas was born and raised in Milwaukee and worked with the Milwaukee Police Department for 25 years. Afterwards, in 2002, he began a second career holding various administrative security roles with Major League Baseball, eventually holding the title of Chief Liaison of Security & Investigations. In 2018, he was elected Milwaukee County Sheriff. Earnell Lucas For Mayor
Micheal Sampson, Entrepreneur
Michael Sampson grew up in the towns of Sullivan and Palmyra. He left Wisconsin for several years, but moved back to Milwaukee in 2008. Sampson is a career businessman and entrepreneur. He helped create the Shamrock Shuffle, Cream Puff 5K, Milwaukee Oktoberfest, and Milwaukee WingFest. In addition to these events he helped open businesses like Brunch, 1983 Arcade bar, Matador, Revel bar, and The Hive Co-working space. Michael For Milwaukee
State Senator Lena Taylor
State Senator Lena Taylor was born and raised in Milwaukee. She was a public defender for several years before opening her own private law practice in Milwaukee. In 2003, she was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 2004, she began her tenure as a state senator serving the areas of Shorewood, Wauwatosa, Glendale, and Milwaukee. She ran for county executive in 2008 and Milwaukee mayor in 2020, but lost each race. She was a 2022 candidate for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. Lena Taylor for Milwaukee Mayor
Ieshuh Griffin, Community Activist
Ieshuh Griffin was born in Chicago but raised in Milwaukee. She is a paralegal and focuses the majority of her time on community activism. From 2010 to 2012, ran for state assembly, alderwoman, and Milwaukee mayor but did not win any election. The Poor People's Piece of the Pie
Milwaukee Election Commission records show that candidates Nick McVey, Tearman Spencer, Joel Paplham and Wenona Gardner didn't submit their nomination papers in time to join the race. Sheila Conley-Patterson submitted an "insufficient number of signatures", according to online records.
On Monday, the Milwaukee Board of Election Commissioners met to finalizeany remaining issues and decide the order of candidates.
One of the candidates, Ieshuh Griffin, had challenged signatures gathered by Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and State Senator Lena Taylor.
Ultimately the Elections Commissioners dismissed Griffin’s complaints citing a lack of evidence.
The names will appear in the following order: Former Alderman Bob Donovan, Ieshuh Griffin, Michael Sampson, State Senator Lena Taylor, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, and Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson.