Watch: TMJ4 News interviews all seven Milwaukee mayoral candidates

Get to know each candidate before the February 15 primary
Milwaukee mayoral candidates
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Posted at 5:32 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 11:34:50-05

MILWAUKEE — Do you know who you'll be voting for in Milwaukee's mayoral primary?

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 position. On February 15 a primary will be held, with the top two candidates 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.

The two candidates to emerge from the primary have agreed to participate in a debate co-hosted by TMJ4 and Marquette University at Marquette's Varsity Theater on March 27th from 6 to 7 p.m. Watch on TMJ4 News and anywhere you stream TMJ4.

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Downtown Milwaukee's Turner Hall.

In order to prepare our viewers for the primary, TMJ4 News anchors Charles Benson and Shannon Sims sat down with all seven candidates inside downtown Milwaukee's beautiful Turner Hall to talk about the issues facing our city. We hope that these interviews, all of which have been collected below, will help inform your vote on February 15th.

Editor's note: The candidates below have been arranged in the same order as you will see them on the February 15 ballot.

Bob Donovan, Former Milwaukee Alderman

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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

Bob Donovan: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Ieshuh Griffin, Community Activist

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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, she ran for state assembly, Common Council, and Milwaukee mayor, but did not win. The Poor People's Piece of the Pie

Ieshuh Griffin: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Michael Sampson, Entrepreneur

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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

Michael Sampson: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Lena Taylor, State Senator

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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 was not elected. She was former a 2022 candidate for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. Lena Taylor for Milwaukee Mayor

Lena Taylor: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Earnell Lucas, Milwaukee County Sheriff

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Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas was born and raised in Milwaukee and worked with the Milwaukee Police Department for 25 years. Afterward, 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

Earnell Lucas: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Marina Dimitrijevic, Milwaukee Alderwoman

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Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic was born and raised in Milwaukee. In 2004, she became the youngest woman ever 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

Marina Dimitrijevic: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

Cavalier Johnson, Acting Mayor of Milwaukee

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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

Cavalier Johnson: Mayoral candidate interview with TMJ4 News

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