Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Election Shakes Up County Board

Five of 18 supervisors will be new. Longtime Sup. John Weishan, Jr. upset by Peter Burgelis. A sixth new face could be coming.

By - Apr 5th, 2022 11:58 pm

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Sulfur at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Sulfur at English Wikipedia (GFDL) or (CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

The Milwaukee County Board will have at least five new supervisors after the election Tuesday. A sixth seat could turn over once the results of a write-in-only election are tabulated.

Notably, longtime Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. was defeated by first-time board candidate Peter Burgelis in district 15, who won 64.1% of the vote. The results of the decennial redistricting process meant this district was not the same one Weishan ran in for the past decade. Burgelis ran unsuccessfully for Milwaukee alderman in 2020, but handily defeated Weishan for a county board seat.

Weishan was one of the longest-serving members of the board, along with Sup. Willie Johnson, Jr. Both supervisors were first elected in 2000.

Juan Miguel Martinez will be the only freshman supervisor coming to the board this spring that had to win a contested election to do so. Martinez narrowly defeated former state representative Josh Zepnick in district 12, winning by 17 votes. Zepnick could pursue a recount, but would need to pay for it.

There are three other candidates that will be new to the board, though they ran unopposed and one of them has served in the past. They are Kathleen Vincent in district 11, Dyango Zerpa in district 14 and Steve Taylor in district 17. Taylor previously served on the board of supervisors, losing to Sup. Patti Logsdon in 2018.

Four incumbents facing challengers held onto their seats.

Johnson, Jr. defeated Purnima Nath in district 2 with 80.4% of the vote. Sup. Liz Sumner won over Karen Gentile with 78.4% of the vote. Sup. Sheldon Wasserman beat Eric Rorholm in district 3 with 59.0% of the vote. Logsdon beat Donald G. Schwartz with 51.2% of the votes.

Four current supervisors will not be returning as they opted not to seek re-election: Jason Haas, Eddie Cullen, Sylvia Ortiz-Velez and Joe Czarnezki. Ortiz-Velez is now a state representative. Haas is expected to take a job in county administration.

Haas was first elected to the board in a special election in 2011. Cullen has served since 2015, also gaining his seat in a special election. Ortiz-Velez was first elected in 2018. Czarnezki only served one term after winning his seat in 2020, but previously served as county clerk.

The outcome of one race is still up in the air. District 18 had eight registered write-in candidates and no names on the ballot. The incumbent, Sup. Russell Antonio Goodwin, Sr. did not gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. The results from the write-in ballots are not yet available and could take until Monday according to one county official.

Categories: MKE County, Politics, Weekly

3 thoughts on “MKE County: Election Shakes Up County Board”

  1. Ryan Cotic says:

    Good to see Weishan finally forced out after his poor leadership and fiscal mismanagement.

  2. gerrybroderick says:

    I’m sorry to see John Weishan go. He was a hard working and well informed member of the County Board.

  3. Gordon Skare says:

    And a strong supporter of veterans issue which will be important for the county’s War Memorial future!

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us