Joe Davis Receives Hot Endorsement
The firefighters endorse Davis, not Donovan, and Joe is "pumped up!"
“The Davis camp today is pumped up!” exclaimed alderman and mayoral candidate Joe Davis, Sr. Davis held a press event this morning to announce the endorsement of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association – Local 215. This comes on the heels of Alderman Bob Donovan receiving an endorsement from the Milwaukee Police Association last week. So now two challengers to incumbent Mayor Tom Barrett have picked up major endorsements.
But Davis had more news than just the endorsement to share. He was proud to report his campaign had turned in 3,000 nomination signatures and would be listed first on the ballot in February. The latter, he declared, is “very important for this race.” And not so good for Donovan.
Davis offered remarks on why he’s running that centered around public safety and economic development. He noted the need to end furloughs of police and firefighters (all city employees have been furloughed at times to save on the budget) something that surely endeared him to his new-found supporters. As to economic development, Davis charged that “we have had over extensive condo development in downtown,” a curious complaint given that condo development has been mostly dead — and supplanted by apartments — since the onset of the Great Recession. Davis went on to lament the city’s reliance on downtown development.
Donovan, who has centered his campaign around public safety, had actually congratulated Davis on winning the endorsement via social media way back on December 15th, so this news conference seems to have come a tad late. Still, it was a coup for Davis and must sting for Donovan, who was close enough to the union that it helped him with a fundraiser: he reimbursed the firefighters’ union for some $1,300 in late April and early May for a “fundraiser mailing.”
According to the local 215 president Dave Seager, the union endorsed Davis following a series of interviews. Seager noted that Davis was the only candidate to go “beyond the high homicide rate” and offer a economic development plan, suggesting Donovan would only talk about crime. Seager also noted that Barrett ignored their invitation to meet, something that won’t surprise long-term City Hall observers given the relationship between Barrett and the fire department. Barrett has cut back the number of fire stations and employees during his tenure.
Donovan chose to make his announcement at the offices of the Milwaukee Police Association (6310 W. Bluemound Rd.), and likely has another annoucement on the way. According to his July campaign finance filing, he’s paying rent to the Milwaukee Police Supervisor’s Organization at 2900 W. Forest Home Ave. for office space, suggesting a close relationship and possible endorsement by that group.
The fourth and perhaps loneliest candidate in the race, James Methu, has yet to make any major endorsement announcements.
At the end of the event, perhaps stealing a page from the playbook of Donovan, a veritable press release machine, Davis promised his PR manager April Hall would henceforth be very active issuing press releases. Bring ’em on, and we’ll publish them. (Check our extensive collection of press releases).
The non-partisan primary is February 16th, with the general election being held April 5th.