2nd District Common Council Race
Ballard vs Chambers in race to represent city district formerly held by Cavalier Johnson.
A small percent of city voters on the northwest side will find an extra race on their ballot for the Nov. 8 election.
Two candidates are vying to fill the Common Council seat vacated by Cavalier Johnson after his April election as mayor.
The winner will be elected to serve the remainder of Johnson’s term, which lasts through April 2024. Council members are elected to four-year terms and paid a base salary of $73,222. They serve on the city’s 15-member legislative body.
This specific race poses a special challenge for the Milwaukee Election Commission and voters. Under state law, it will take place according to the council’s prior district boundaries that Johnson was elected under, not the newly-adopted map. Voters may live in new wards that are eligible to vote in the race, but on blocks within the ward that are outside the old boundaries, rendering them ineligible.
Want to see what’s on your ballot and where to vote? Visit MyVote Wisconsin to see your polling place and access a sample ballot.
Below you’ll find basic information copied verbatim from candidate campaign materials and a link to any available campaign resources. If you click on their name you’ll be brought to any stories written about the candidate. Candidate names are listed in alphabetical order.
Jerel Ballard has spent his life advocating for and serving his community through philanthropic engagement and leadership. As a proud Milwaukee native and graduate from Riverside University High School, Ballard began his career in public service on the Youth Advisory Council for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
Ballard co-founded Lead2Change Inc. — a career-readiness organization that engages young people in leadership opportunities and equips them with essential tools to succeed in college, their careers, and the community. In addition, Ballard founded Milwaukee’s Finest Scholarship Foundation, whose mission is to encourage all students who have ambitions for higher education by providing an equal opportunity for financial assistance.
In partnership with local businesses and community leaders, more than $60,000 has been raised for scholarships. As a result, more than 50 students have graduated college or are enrolled to obtain their associate or bachelor’s degrees.
Ballard studied political science at George Mason University, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago. Upon his return to Wisconsin, Ballard first worked as an Anchor and Reporter in television news.
Ballard left journalism when he was appointed by the Milwaukee Chief of Police to serve as Communication and Marketing Officer for the Milwaukee Police Department. He now serves as Communication Director for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
Ballard held prestigious internships with the Mayors of Milwaukee & Chicago, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the Argosy Foundation, and Kglobal. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors for Riverside University High School Foundation and served as a member on the Reasons for HOPE Grant Committee for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Since 2009, Ballard has made recommendations and helped direct more than $250,000 for service projects throughout Milwaukee.
Mark Chambers, Jr is a lifelong resident of the 2nd Aldermanic District, having grown up in the Westlawn Projects section of the aldermanic area. In his childhood, Mark participated in youth programs through the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and the Milwaukee area Boys and Girls Club, where he learned firsthand the importance of Leadership and Mentorship.
After graduating from Bay View High School, Mark attended Milwaukee Area Technical College where he served as Vice President of the Black Student Union. It was at that time he began to understand the power of governance. However, like many of the people in the 2nd District, Mark’s life took a detour-He became a father. Thus, he began his journey as a working provider, student, and parent.
Having the responsibilities of co-parenting a child, Mark worked briefly as a Correctional Officer before entering the finance industry with Wells Fargo Bank, PNC Bank and Peoples State Bank. These experiences motivated Mark to become an even more positive influence for his family and his community. Mark then decided to continue his pursuit of obtaining a college degree in business from Concordia University.
Professionally, Mark is a business consultant for Community Related Training (CRT) in Milwaukee. He is also a member of the Greater Milwaukee African American Business Resource Group (GMAABRG) and an advisor for Governor Evers’ Financial Literacy Council where he continues to teach financial literacy courses for members of his community.
2nd District Map
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