Cavalier Johnson Says He’s Ready To Be Mayor
He'll become acting mayor immediately upon Tom Barrett's resignation. Expected by Dec. 28.
That was the tweet sent by Common Council President and acting-mayor-to-be Cavalier Johnson after Mayor Tom Barrett was confirmed as Ambassador to Luxembourg by the U.S. Senate on Thursday evening.
“I think I am uniquely qualified to do this job,” said Johnson in a press conference at the Sherman Phoenix that blurred the lines between a campaign stop and official briefing.
He will spend much of the next few months living that blurred line, running for mayor while serving as mayor. Any day Barrett will resign and Johnson will become acting mayor by virtue of his role as council president. He’s already filed to run for mayor, and was the first in a field of seven candidates.
Barrett, on Friday, confirmed he expected to resign by Dec. 28. That would allow the council to call a special election in time to coincide with the already-scheduled Feb. 15 primary and April 5 general election, saving the estimated $700,000 cost of staging an entirely separate process.
One, Johnson, 35, has lived experience of immense poverty, the kind many Milwaukeeans unfortunately experience. Standing next to Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Johnson discussed how they both grew up in the 53206 ZIP code, the city’s most impoverished and the state’s most incarcerated. The two have known each other since attending Bay View High School.
Two, he has experience in the mayor’s office. Before being elected to the Common Council in 2016 he worked for Barrett. Now he’ll acquire more experience.
Three, he has experience with the Common Council. Barrett’s agenda in recent years has run into gridlock when it comes to getting council approval. Johnson said his experience, including threading the needle to be elected council president by a single vote, will allow him to advance his agenda.
He praised Barrett for putting the city in a good position for a smooth transition. “My relationship with the mayor has been great,” said Johnson. “His office has worked seamlessly with my team.” Barrett has invited Johnson’s staff to high-level meetings in recent months.
But how much does Johnson like Barrett’s staff? “I don’t know that we are going to have a major turnover in staff when I come into office,” he said. A number of staffers were fired when Marvin Pratt became acting mayor after John Norquist resigned. Multiple sources within city government have told Urban Milwaukee they don’t expect drastic changes during the acting mayor period.
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More about the Resignation of Tom Barrett
- 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
Political Contributions Tracker
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- August 13, 2015 - Cavalier Johnson received $25 from David Crowley
2 thoughts on “Cavalier Johnson Says He’s Ready To Be Mayor”
Jeramey, what is process for temporary replacement for Johnson as an alderman, and process for new Common Council President?
He does not have to resign, but cannot vote while serving as acting mayor. Should he win, the council would select a new leader by voting (as it did when Murphy became president after Hines’ resignation).