City Attorney Candidates
Langley versus Spencer for a four-year term as city's lawyer.
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 Milwaukee City Attorney. The City Attorney leads an independent office that serves as the city’s legal team.
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.
First elected to the position of City Attorney in 1984, Langley has been re-elected by Milwaukee residents and taxpayers eight times.
As current Milwaukee City Attorney, Langley leads an office of 38 attorneys who perform all the legal work for the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee.
The legal practice areas covered by the City Attorney’s office include real estate development, employment and labor law, pension and deferred compensation, civil rights and tort litigation, business licensing, code enforcement, nuisance abatement, elections, ethics, public records and open meetings law, housing, school law, contracting and procurement.
Langley’s achievements have been recognized with awards from the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee and other professional organizations.
His office recently received the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer award from the State Bar of Wisconsin.
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School.
Tearman Spencer has spent a career fighting for justice and making sure people are safe. He’s overcome personal adversity, achieving through hard work what doctors said wouldn’t be possible. Now he’s ready to stand up and fight for the people of Milwaukee.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Spencer earned an engineering degree from the University of Southern California and became an award-winning safety engineer, focusing on transportation infrastructure including dams, bridges, tunnels and rail systems, working all over the country. He ensured maintenance on refineries was done safely, and oversaw safety professionals on the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Spencer was then diagnosed with a degenerative condition that confined him to a wheelchair, and while striving to recover, earned a Masters in Business Administration from Golden Gate University. He later received a Juris Doctor (law degree) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Spencer returned to Milwaukee and opened a successful law practice, handling real estate and business cases, and protecting individuals against big banks. More recently, he has focused on defending the rights of consumers, and winning millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients.
Spencer is committed to community leadership, including serving on the board of Community Brainstorming Conference and as a member of the Felmers Chaney Advisory Board. He also completed the FBI Citizens Academy and is active in the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
Along the way, Spencer defied expectations and learned to walk again.
With more than 30 years of leadership experience, Spencer is ready to run the City Attorney’s office, a broad operation that oversees civil, criminal, and municipal law on behalf of the people of Milwaukee.
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Read more about 2020 Spring Primary here