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Milwaukee prepares for a new mayor
With Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett finally gaining U.S. Senate confirmation as ambassador to Luxembourg the city is poised for the next big political battle.
If Barrett, as expected, steps down by Dec. 28, the Common Council can set the dates for the special mayoral election, with a Feb. 15 spring primary and the April 5 general election.
The winner will fill the remainder of Barrett's term, which ends in 2024.
Barrett's resignation will elevate Common Council President Cavalier Johnson to the role of acting mayor.
Eight people have filed to run.
But attention will turn to five major contenders: Johnson, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas, Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic, former Ald. Bob Donovan and state Sen. Daniel Riemer.
"Tom Barrett is probably the last of the baby boomers who are mayors. The torch has been passed to a younger generation, this is going to be the race of Gen X and Gen Y," said Mordecai Lee, a political science professor at UW-Milwaukee. "The odds are, that he may well turn out to have been the last white male as mayor."
Meanwhile, Johnson took the initiative during a Tuesday news conference when he said combatting reckless driving would be his top priority when he becomes acting mayor.
Johnson said he will declare reckless driving a public safety crisis, meaning he will direct all departments to focus on the problem.
Craig Gilbert provides some takeaways on the redistricting battle that is before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
"The only partisan question that remains — and it’s an important one — is how big that GOP advantage will be.
"The court now has before it a GOP plan passed by the Legislature under which 62 or 63 of 99 Assembly seats would lean Republican in their makeup.
"And it has before it a handful of plans offered by Democrats, progressives and others under which 55 to 60 Assembly seats would lean Republican.
"In other words, even the Democratic plans before the court are very, very favorable to Republican control of the Legislature over the next 10 years.
"But those plans are not quite as tilted toward the GOP and feature a higher number of competitive districts, which are scarce under the Republican plan."
Turning up the heat on DA John Chisholm
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm remains under fire after one of his prosecutors recommended a $1,000 bail for Darrell Brooks.
The bail was posted just days before Brooks drove his 3,000-pound SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing six people and injuring dozens more.
Molly Beck reports that a group of seven people led by Orville Seymer of Franklin filed a complaint with Gov. Tony Evers calling for Chisholm's removal.
"... as witnessed in Waukesha last month, the devastation resulting from Chisholm's dereliction of duty to protect the public has reached outside the borders of Milwaukee County," the complaint said.
A spokeswoman for Evers said the governor received the complaint Monday and has not yet had a chance to review it.
On Tuesday, lawmakers in Madison denied a raise for the Milwaukee County DA. Chisholm, or whoever holds the office after the 2024 election, won't see a pay increase like other county prosecutors under a plan approved 8-0 by members of the Joint Committee of Employment Relations.
The action was part of a compensation plan that includes a 2% raise for all state employees.
Greta Neubauer leads Assembly Democrats
Assembly Democrats went on a youth movement with two new leadership picks: 30-year-old Rep. Greta Neubauer as caucus leader and 22-year-old Rep Kalan Haywood in the No. 2 spot.
Patrick Marley reports Rep. Jimmy Anderson dropped out of the assistant leader race because he said many of his colleagues had questioned whether his disability would hamper whether he could do the job. Anderson is paralyzed from the chest down and uses a wheelchair.
Tweet of the week
Capital Times reporter Jessie Opoien reacting to the selection of Neubauer and Haywood as top leaders of the Assembly Democrats: "Both of the top Democrats in the WI Assembly are younger than I am, because I am old now."
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Redistricting maps; Milwaukee prepares for a new mayor