Jeramey Jannene

Chris Larson Drops Out of Mayoral Race

But the field is still growing, with 12 candidates now in the race.

By - Jan 6th, 2022 10:53 am
Chris Larson. Photo from the candidate's website.

Chris Larson. Photo from the candidate’s website.

Last week, State Senator Chris Larson said he was “strongly considering” a run for mayor and even emailed supporters to help collect signatures.

Now he’s out, leaving a field of 12 candidates.

“After much consideration and soul searching, I will not be running for Milwaukee Mayor in the upcoming special election. I appreciate each of you who reached out with support and encouragement. It really means a lot to me and my family,” said Larson in a statement. “Instead, I will focus my attention on continuing to serve my neighbors in the state senate.”

Candidates must submit at least 1,500 signatures by Jan. 11 to appear on the ballot. A primary election is scheduled for Feb. 15 and a special election April 5. The winner will serve the remainder of Tom Barrett‘s term through April 2024.

Those that have formally filed to run include Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson, City Attorney Tearman Spencer, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, State Senator Lena Taylor, former alderman Robert Donovan, entrepreneur Michael Sampson, activist Nicholas McVey, teacher Sheila Conley-Patterson, Joel Paplham, Wenona Lee Gardner and Ieshuh Griffin.

“I expect a lively debate between the candidates around reigning in the political corruption that is rotting Milwaukee’s police department. I hope candidates will listen to the demands that were amplified in the 2020 marches & end the 1980s so-called “tough on crime” model,” said Larson. “A model that has cost our city too many lives, wasted resources, and increased incarceration rates without making us any safer. You can’t police people out of poverty, so why not invest in what communities really need?”

He said he was interested in seeing portions of the Milwaukee Police Department budget reallocated to the Office of Violence Prevention.

“I hope there will be innovative plans put forward for how to end poverty, create good paying jobs, support inclusive development, and provide hope to a generation that has been ruthlessly neglected and all but forgotten,” said Larson. “I hope that there will be a sound rejection of big outside money trying to buy the office, if not by the candidates themselves, then by the voters who reject those candidates that sell out their neighbors.”

Larson, 41, was first elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2010 after he upset incumbent Jeff Plale. He served as the senate minority leader from 2013 to 2015.

Recently he’s spent a lot of time vying for other positions. He’s run twice for Milwaukee County Executive, including a narrow (50%/49.5%) loss in April 2020. He also filed to run for U.S. Senate in May before suspending his campaign in August and endorsing Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

The senator did not make an endorsement in announcing his mayoral decision.

Larson served as a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors from 2008 until his election to the senate. He lives in the Bay View neighborhood with his wife and two children.

“I will do my best to continue to fight for our community’s fair share of resources to come back from the state and for our shared progressive values of making sure we have quality public education for all our kids, secure housing for every resident, and good paying jobs,” said Larson.

Categories: Politics, Weekly

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