Graham Kilmer
MKE County

County Board Primary Race Has Three Candidates

Special election called to fill District 14 seat left vacant by Dyango Zerpa resignation.

By - Mar 1st, 2023 07:38 pm
County Board candidates Caroline Gómez-Tom, Angel Sanchez and Travis Hope.

County Board candidates Caroline Gómez-Tom, Angel Sanchez and Travis Hope.

Three candidates will be on the ballot for a special election to fill the vacant seat on the Milwaukee County Board for Supervisory District 14.

Caroline Gómez-Tom, Travis Hope and Angel C. Sanchez have each submitted more than 200 signatures after a lightning two-week nomination period, gaining placement on the ballot. The primary election will be held April 4 to coincide with the spring general election featuring a state Supreme Court Race. The general election will be held May 2.

The board seat was left vacant in January 2022 following the resignation of then-supervisor Dyango Zerpa. County Executive David Crowley called a special election to fill the seat on Feb. 14.

District 14 is one of two districts with a Hispanic-majority population created during redistricting in 2021. The districts were drawn to protect the city’s Hispanic vote from being diluted by high-turnout voting wards in majority-white neighborhoods. District 14 begins in the north along W. Virginia Street in Walker’s Point and stretches south to W. Howard Avenue and Wilson Park. The district’s western boundary largely runs along S. 20th Street. The majority of its eastern edge is drawn along Interstate 94, the Kinnickinnic River and S. 1st Street.

Candidates had until Feb. 28 to collect 200 or more nomination signatures to get on the ballot.

Angel Sanchez

Sanchez is a conservative, former one-term alderman, construction contractor and perennial political candidate from Milwaukee’s South Side.

In 2000, Sanchez was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council after defeating then-incumbent alderman James Witkowiak, who would return four years later and win back his seat. Witkowiak defended his seat against Sanchez again in 2008, then lost to now-council President José G. Peréz in 2012.

Sanchez has run during nearly every election cycle over the past four years. He challenged State Sen. Tim Carpenter in 2022, State Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez for an Assembly seat in fall 2020; Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa for a Common Council seat in 2020; and Zamarippa for her Assembly seat in 2018. He also ran against Peréz for alderman in 2016.

Sanchez did not respond to a request for comment from Urban Milwaukee prior to publishing.

During his 2020 campaign for alderman, Sanchez described himself this way: “I’m a Road Builder, Business Owner, Real Estate Investor, with assets exceeding $250,000.00. I am a NRA member, Pro Life, and School Choice. My kids and my wife believe I’m a great dad and a Great Cook.”

Caroline Gomez-Tom

Gómez-Tom is president of the City of Milwaukee Board of Health and also a community healthcare navigator working for Covering Wisconsin.

Gómez-Tom is originally from Racine and received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from UW-Madison.

Since announcing her candidacy, Gómez-Tom has racked up several endorsements from current and former elected officials representing the south side of Milwaukee County: State Rep. Christine Sinicki, Ortiz-Velez, Zamarippa, county Supervisor Juan Miguel-Martinez, Sup. Ryan Clancy and former supervisor Jason Haas. Darryl Morin, president of Forward Latino, has also endorsed her.

“I am running to be a bridge between the community and the policies made at the county level that impact our day-to-day lives,” said Gómez-Tom. “I am used to being the only one at the table representing my community, but when I take a seat at the table, I will bring my entire community with me.”

Travis Hope

Hope is a community organizer on the South Side and president of the Kinnickinnic River Neighbors in Action.

He previously told Urban Milwaukee that he is a lifelong Milwaukee resident, adding that he’s “raised my kids in many of the southside neighborhoods I grew up in.”

“I want to be county board supervisor of the 14th district to make sure the people have a voice and are represented and informed of what’s going on at the county board and that their concerns are being heard and taken into account when decisions are being made,” he said, adding that he would organize community clean-ups that also function as constituent meetings.

UPDATE: The election is May 2, not May 5.

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Categories: MKE County, Politics, Weekly

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