Former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett officially resigned from his position on Wednesday, allowing Common Council President Cavalier Johnson to become acting mayor of the city.

Barrett’s resignation, which was initiated by accepting a position in the Biden administration, allowed the common council to formally adopt a timeline for a special election to replace Barrett.

The motion approved by the legislative group will establish a primary election for February 15, 2022. Because Milwaukee’s mayoral races are technically nonpartisan, the top two candidates will advance to a general election on April 5, 2022 to determine the next mayor.

The winner of the general election will fill the seat until 2024, when Barrett’s original term was set to expire.

The campaign to fill the position is expected to be crowded and contested. According to filing information provided by the city of Milwaukee Election Commission, eight candidates, including  Johnson, have already registered their campaigns to compete for the vacancy: Nick McVey, former Alderman Bob Donovan, Sheila Conley-Patterson, entrepreneur Michael Sampson, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas, Alderman Marina Dimitrijevic, and State Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee).

While Johnson is campaigning to assume the role on an official basis, he has already introduced a plan to reckless driving. The “STAND for Safer Streets” program will be “engaging a broad coalition of residents, businesses, advocates, and stakeholders to address reckless driving.”

According to data provided by Johnson, 65 residents of the city were killed because of reckless driving accidents in 2021. Furthermore, the city has witnessed an increase in crime. More than 9,000 cars have been stolen over the course of the year—a dramatic increase from 2020.

“As a parent of three children in Milwaukee, and someone who drives these streets daily, I find the statistics around automobile accidents and vehicle thefts unacceptable,” said Johnson.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Milwaukee City Hall” by Han Zheng CC BY-SA 2.0.