Jeramey Jannene

Donovan Now A Suburban Republican Running For Assembly

20-year Milwaukee alderman wants to stop city's "chaos" from spreading to suburbs.

By - Apr 25th, 2022 10:35 am
Bob Donovan speaking at a 2012 press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bob Donovan speaking at a 2012 press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

So much for “one last hurrah.”

Robert Donovan, who less than three weeks ago was a city resident running for mayor of Milwaukee, announced Monday he is running as a Republican from suburban Greenfield for an open seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

“I’ve fought the good fight in Milwaukee’s City Hall. I plan to take my common-sense conservative message to Madison to make effective change and support policies that re-establish law and order in our neighborhoods, parental rights, and choice in education, fix our elections, rebuild our roads and crumbling infrastructure, secure the rights of the unborn and defend our Second Amendment rights,” said Donovan in a press release announcing his run.

Donovan, 65, represented a southside district on the Milwaukee Common Council from 2000 to 2020. But he opted not to run for re-election in 2020 and moved to Greenfield.

He twice ran for mayor, each time receiving approximately 30% of the vote. He lost in 2016 to incumbent Tom Barrett and on April 5 to Cavalier Johnson.

Donovan said he was considering a run last week. “There is an old saying—when God closes a door he always opens a window,” said the former alderman in a social media post.

He said he was considering running for three reasons: a belief that public service is his vocation in life, to stop the spread of “chaos” from Milwaukee into the suburbs and to work to establish a partnership between the city and state to address Milwaukee’s public safety and fiscal challenges.

A long-time advocate for rank-and-file police officers, public safety was a central issue for both of Donovan’s mayoral campaigns. He’s tweaked the messaging for his assembly campaign.

“As we are all aware, the chaos going on in Milwaukee continues to spread to Milwaukee suburbs and I want to play a role in stopping that,” he said in a press release announcing his campaign.

The 84th Assembly District is a conservative-leaning district. Incumbent Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin) is retiring, and as a result of redistricting, the Waukesha County portion of the district has been removed.

The district now includes Greenfield, Hales Corners and the southwest corner of Milwaukee. A redistricting analysis by Marquette University researcher John D. Johnson found that, as a result of replacing New Berlin with Hales Corners and more of Greenfield, the district went from an 11-point Republican lean to only a two-point Republican lean.

The campaign won’t be Donovan’s first for state assembly. He ran unsuccessfully for an assembly seat in 1982 and, again in 1983, as a Republican. “I ran as a Republican in Milwaukee County. That will give you an indication of how incredibly naive, politically, I was at the time,” Donovan said in 2013.

Donovan is also likely to find competition on the ballot. David Karst, chair of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, already filed to run for the seat.

Candidates have until June 1 to turn in the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot. A partisan primary is scheduled for Aug. 9 and a general election will be held Nov. 8.

Categories: Politics, Weekly

4 thoughts on “Donovan Now A Suburban Republican Running For Assembly”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    What a carpetbagger

  2. 45 years in the City says:

    Standard Wisconsin Republican script – demonize anyone or anything associated with the City of Milwaukee.

  3. NieWiederKrieg says:

    There’s one thing true about politics and septic tanks… the scum always rises to the top.

  4. nickzales says:

    It’s time for a Democrat to step up and run for this seat.

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