Jeramey Jannene
Vote Absentee

Mayoral Candidates

Barrett versus Taylor for a four-year term leading the Cream City.

By - Mar 29th, 2020 03:10 pm
Tom Barrett and Lena Taylor. Photos from the candidate and state records.

Tom Barrett and Lena Taylor. Photos from the candidate and state records.

Milwaukeeans voting in the April 7th Spring Election will find a wide variety of races and referendums on their ballots. While we would normally preview all of the races in one article, the ballot will be a long one and we are breaking our preview into multiple parts. Because a record number of voters will be voting absentee, we are publishing our previews earlier than usual. Absentee ballots must be received by April 13th (using one of the five city drop-off sites is recommended). See links to additional previews and election coverage at the end of this article.

Two candidates are running for a four-year term as Mayor of Milwaukee.

Below you’ll find basic information provided by the candidates themselves and a link to any available campaign resources. And if you click on their name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidate names are listed in alphabetical order.

Tom Barrett. Photo from the candidate's website.

Tom Barrett. Photo from the candidate’s website.

Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett’s story is deeply rooted in Wisconsin.

His mother was from Door County, and his father made his home in the Badger State after the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) deployed him to Oshkosh for training during World War II.

Tom’s parents settled in Milwaukee, where they raised Tom and his brother and two sisters in a middle class home on the city’s west side.

Tom grew up cheering for the Braves, and of course, the Brewers, along with Badgers, Warriors, and the Packers.

He worked in high school as an usher at County Stadium. He would go on to graduate from college and law school at UW-Madison, spending time in between working on the assembly line at Harley-Davidson.

Tom turned to a career in public service, earning a reputation for his integrity, for his respect of diverse views, his ability to bring people together, and for his hard work.

As Mayor of Milwaukee, he’s created, attracted and saved jobs, solved a budget crisis, substantially reduced crime, and worked to keep the economy on track.

Recognizing we go farther when we go together, Tom helped create the M7 — a regional, bipartisan economic development group comprised of the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin. The organization’s cooperative efforts have attracted and retained hundreds of jobs across the region.

With Tom leading the way, long abandoned industrial areas like the Menomonee Valley have been transformed into thriving commercial centers that are home to thousands of jobs.

And in just the last year, Tom has helped Helios, Ingeteam and Palermos Pizza build or expand new factories in Wisconsin.

Tom has worked with law enforcement, community groups and residents to develop proactive strategies, and he has empowered the city’s police department with the resources and strong leadership it needs to get the job done. As a result, violent crime in Milwaukee has decreased by 20% over the past two years, and homicides are at the lowest levels in more than 20 years.

When the national economic crisis blew a hole in the city pension fund, threatening Milwaukee’s bottom line, Tom put his principles of responsible budgeting and good stewardship of the people’s tax dollars to work. He cut more than $30 million in spending — balancing the books without questionable accounting tricks, and without saddling future generations with mountains of debt by borrowing money.

Tom has always called Wisconsin home. He and his wife Kris, a teacher, have four children. Their home is in the same neighborhood where Tom grew up, and is the same area he represented in the State Legislature and in Congress. Together, the family stays true to the same Wisconsin values that have guided Tom throughout his entire life.

Lena Taylor speaking at a press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Lena Taylor speaking at a press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Lena Taylor

Lena C. Taylor is serving her fourth term as a Wisconsin State Senator, representing the 4th Senate District, which includes portions of Shorewood, Wauwatosa, Glendale, and Milwaukee.  Elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2003 and to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2004, Taylor served as the first African-American Chair of the influential Senate Judiciary Committee and the first African-American woman to co-chair the powerful Joint Committee on Finance. Taylor currently serves on the Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts, Judiciary and Public Safety, Utilities and Housing, and the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties. Taylor has been an extremely effective legislator and seeks to bring those skills back to represent her hometown.

As a Milwaukee native, Taylor still lives on the block she grew up on.  She is a graduate of Rufus King H.S. and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After earning a law degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, she practiced as a Public Defender. Eventually, she opened Taylor and Associates Law Office, a general practice firm in Milwaukee before going to the legislature.

Lena is passionate about her work and serving the needs of her district.  It is that drive that propelled her decision to run for Mayor.  With Milwaukee often leading the nation in negative indices, Taylor is committed to addressing social determinants that cause persistent economic, health and safety issues.  Innovative and unwavering in her embrace of technology, Taylor is eager to help Milwaukee redefine and re-imagine  its identity.  Lena knows that we have talented residents, resources, and the ability to create a city that is inclusive, vibrant, and progressive.

Taylor believes that while Milwaukee has experienced some growth, it has not kept pace with what is needed to ensure all of our residents are afforded a quality life.  Whether attracting and retaining talent, or providing needed education, skills, and opportunities, Taylor understands that a rising tide should lift all boats.  If the tide doesn’t come in, Lena believes we are obligated to do the heavy lifting to provide the changes we want to see in Milwaukee.

For years, Senator Taylor has partnered with Greater New Birth Church to host monthly free legal clinics for those in need.  Taylor is the proud mother to her son, Isaiah. And as always, Lena Taylor is here to serve!

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More about the 2020 Spring Election Candidates

Read more about 2020 Spring Election Candidates here

More about the 2020 Spring Primary

Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here

Categories: Politics

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