Milwaukee Legislators Shuffle for November Elections

With new retirements and challenges being posed, there could be a bit of shuffling among Milwaukee’s legislators this election cycle.

Rep. Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee) announced on April 11 he will challenge Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) in the Democratic primary in August. In a statement Barnes called for “fresh, transformational leadership” and said his campaign will focus on public education, gun violence, and creating opportunity for communities.

Sen. Taylor was first elected to the Assembly in a 2003 special election and was elected to the State Senate the following year. Taylor is a member of the Joint Committee on Finance. Barnes was first elected to the Assembly in 2012 and currently serves on the Education, Corrections, Small Business Development, and Jobs and the Economy Assembly committees.

The overwhelmingly Democratic 4th Senate District includes parts of Milwaukee, Glendale, Wauwatosa and Shorewood, and the winner of the primary, to be held on August 9, is sure to win the general election in November.

Rep. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) has announced her candidacy for the 6th Senate District, left open after Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee) announced she will not run for reelection. Johnson was first elected to the assembly in 2012 and has served in that position since. The 6th district covers much of Milwaukee’s northwest side.

Harris Dodd has already endorsed Johnson for the 6th Senate District, citing their common goals of child welfare and job creation in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, David Crowley, a Policy Director for Sen. Harris Dodd has announced his candidacy for the 17th Assembly District left open by Rep. Johnson’s State Senate candidacy. Crowley is a former candidate for Milwaukee Alderman.

Crowley declared his candidacy on April 6, and was immediately endorsed by Rep. Johnson. In announcing his candidacy, Crowley said his campaign will focus on increasing job and economic opportunities in Milwaukee and reducing crime.  Crowley is a former community organizer and current chair of the ACLU of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chapter.