Will City Have New Mayor By End of Year?
Committee advances Tom Barrett's ambassadorship nomination to full Senate.
Milwaukee could have a new mayor by the end of 2021.
On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee advanced Mayor Tom Barrett‘s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg to the full Senate.
But getting through the full Senate might not be easy.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) are holding up full Senate consent votes for more than 150 Biden nominees because of often-unrelated foreign policy issues. Cruz is reportedly concerned with a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Hawley is demanding top Biden defense officials resign.
But Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) could call a floor vote as soon as this weekend to force the nominations through.
“The Republican obstruction of President Biden’s nominees this year has reached a new low. We’ve had to file cloture on twice as many nominees at this point in the Biden administration than Republicans had to do under President Trump,” said Schumer on Tuesday. He threatened a weekend vote that would force senators to stay in Washington D.C.
To satisfy a state statute, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson needs to become acting mayor by Dec. 28 so the council can perform its state-mandated duty of calling a special election “as promptly as possible.” Dec. 28 is the last day where state law allows the special election to be called to coincide with the already scheduled spring elections, effectively eliminating the extra cost of staffing the polls. Having to host both a stand-alone primary and general election would cost the city an estimated $700,000 according to the Milwaukee Election Commission.
If Barrett resigns between Feb. 15 and Mar. 2, the mayoral primary could occur on the date of the spring general election (April 5) and a special, mayoral general election would take place May 3. That would cost the city an additional $350,000 by requiring only a single extra day of staffing the polls. President Joe Biden, who originally nominated Barrett on Aug. 25, could delay certifying Barrett’s Senate confirmation until February 15 to allow the city to avoid a stand-alone special election
What if the council just stretched the state law’s definition of “as promptly as possible” and delayed the election a few weeks (to February 15) to save the $350,000? Johnson told Urban Milwaukee Tuesday that he understands the Barrett administration is asking the City Attorney’s Office for an opinion on that option.
“I just go out about my business as council president,” said Johnson, who has a fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday night.
Joining Johnson in the race are Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, former alderman Robert Donovan, entrepreneur Michael Sampson, activist Nicholas McVey and Sheila Conley-Patterson.
Should it take until mid-April for Barrett to resign, the city could explore lining up the scheduled fall, partisan elections with the non-partisan mayoral race.
Barrett, 68, who has served as mayor since 2004, would lead the U.S. embassy, located in Luxembourg City. Situated between Germany, France and Belgium, Luxembourg has a population of approximately 620,000, similar to Milwaukee. But geographically speaking, the country, though one of Europe’s smallest, is about 10 times the size of the City of Milwaukee.
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- What Do Milwaukee Mayors Do? - Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Apr 3rd, 2022
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- Murphy’s Law: Let’s Not Whitewash Bob Donovan - Bruce Murphy - Mar 28th, 2022
- Donovan, Johnson Clash On Drop Boxes - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 22nd, 2022
- Bob Donovan vs The Clown - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 22nd, 2022
- Donovan Plans Car Theft “Strike Force” - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 21st, 2022
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- Tom Barrett Presents Credentials To Grand Duke, Assumes Ambassadorship - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 10th, 2022
- Johnson Ceremonially Sworn In As Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 23rd, 2021
- Tom Barrett Takes Oath To Serve As Ambassador - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 23rd, 2021
- City Hall: Council Calls April 5 Special Election For Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 23rd, 2021
- The Incredible Rise of Cavalier Johnson - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 22nd, 2021
- City Hall: Mayor Tom Barrett Resigns - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 22nd, 2021
- Cavalier Johnson Says He’s Ready To Be Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 17th, 2021
- It Could Be Many Weeks Before Barrett Goes to Luxembourg - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 17th, 2021
- Tom Barrett Confirmed as Ambassador to Luxembourg, Resignation Expected - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 16th, 2021
- Will City Have New Mayor By End of Year? - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 15th, 2021
Read more about Resignation of Tom Barrett here