Graham Kilmer
MKE County

One Board Seat Will Have a Blank Ballot

Dist. 18 Sup. Russell Antonio Goodwin, Sr. didn't get enough signatures to be listed on Spring 2022 ballot.

By - Jan 10th, 2022 05:32 pm

Supervisor Russell Antonio Goodwin, Sr. and the new county board district 18.

The deadline has passed to get on the ballot as a candidate for Milwaukee County Board, but one district is still up for grabs.

In District 18, the incumbent Supervisor Russell Antonio Goodwin, Sr. failed to get enough nomination signatures to get on the ballot. He was the only candidate seeking to get on the ballot in that district.

Byron Marshall, the executive director of the non-profit Community Huddle, planned to run against Goodwin and filed to run for District 18 in August. But after redistricting, Marshall found that his home had been drawn out of the district and into District 5, where the incumbent is Sup. Sequanna Taylor. Though, Marshall told Urban Milwaukee he has not made a decision one way or the other regarding a campaign in District 18 and is considering all options.

The deadline to file nomination signatures with the Milwaukee County Election Commission was Jan. 4. Goodwin turned in his nomination papers that day, but he was six signatures shy of the 200 needed to get on the ballot.

The supervisor has since announced that he will run a write-in campaign for his board seat.

He told Urban Milwaukee that the COVID-19 pandemic made it incredibly difficult to gather signatures. He said he was putting in 12 hour days going door-to-door in his district and averaging about one signature for every 100 doors he knocked on, largely due to the difficulty of getting residents to answer the door.

“Some people were actually mad… we were out collecting signatures,” he said.

Goodwin said on more than one occasion he would spend the entire day knocking doors and not gather a single signature. “It was heartbreaking,” he said.

Now the supervisor will mount a write-in campaign for the district. He said he’s “embracing the challenge” of such a campaign. The supervisor said the write-in campaign will require him to better connect with voters, so they can go to the polls with a plan to write his name down.

“I’m actually kinda excited about it,” he said. “It gives me a different way to meet the voters.”

Goodwin has lost some of the advantage of name recognition lent to an incumbent in a local election by failing to secure ballot access. But for now, with no other candidates declared for the race, the election is solely his to lose.

Goodwin wasn’t the only candidate for the county board running uncontested. There are nine candidates for the county board, seven of them incumbents, running unopposed for the board. Nearly a majority of the 18-member board during the next two years will have won election to their seat simply by getting their name on the ballot. But not Goodwin.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect that Byron Marshall has not made a decision regarding a campaign for District 18.

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Categories: MKE County, Politics, Weekly

One thought on “MKE County: One Board Seat Will Have a Blank Ballot”

  1. gerrybroderick says:

    And the dearth of candidates will continue until the position pays a family supporting wage. Thanks Sheldon Lubar, Joe Sanfilippo and Chris Abele. You’re diminishment of the effectiveness of the people’s voice in their own government is a success.

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