Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Crowley Announces Reelection Bid

David Crowley announces re-election campaign on heels of historic sales tax deal.

By - Oct 18th, 2023 03:43 pm
David Crowley. File photo by Graham Kilmer.

David Crowley. File photo by Graham Kilmer.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley announced his intention to run for re-election Wednesday.

The county executive, who was expected to run for a second term, made the announcement on social media in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Crowley was elected in the spring of 2020 and took office less than two months into the COVID-19 pandemic. He was sworn in on the front lawn of his home in the Nash Park neighborhood to allow for safe social distancing. He was the first Black man elected county executive in Milwaukee County. During his swearing-in speech, he noted that the “responsibility” and “symbolism” were not lost on him.

Last July, Crowley finished what will likely be considered the crowning achievement of his first term: securing a new 0.4% countywide sales tax.

The sales tax revenue and associated pension reforms will eventually close the book on the county’s disastrous pension system. The new revenue is also providing county policymakers with a budget surplus unprecedented in the past three decades.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the massive public health response, which the county was directly involved in, dominated the beginning of Crowley’s term; as did the the massive influx of federal stimulus funds. When Crowley initially campaigned for county executive, budget projections indicated whoever won the office would be faced with years of difficult budget cuts.

Federal funding and savings from hiring freezes and lower healthcare costs, in part, saved Crowley from an immediate fiscal cliff. Though, he wasn’t entirely spared, and in 2023 the county returned to the kind of budgets that had previously been routine. Crowly warned that the 2023 budget was a harbinger of what was to come.

The federal American Rescue Plan Act grant didn’t just balance the budget, it also allowed the county executive’s administration to steer millions into affordable housing developments in suburban communities that had historically been resistant to them.

One year and a sales tax deal later, an independent analysis of Crowley’s recommended 2024 budget heralded “the dawning of a new day for Milwaukee County” and newfound financial stability.

When Crowley took office, the county had already declared racism a public health crisis. But his administration took it another step forward and developed a strategic plan in the first months of his tenure that sought to make the overarching goal of all government decisions and policymaking be the achievement of racial equity in Milwaukee County. This framework has since been integrated into decision-making throughout county government and is regularly referenced by policymakers and county officials.

Crowley is already sitting on a formidable pile of campaign cash, more than $200,000 as of July 1, and no other candidates have entered the nonpartisan race. If two or more additional candates file, the primary will be held in February 2024. The general election is April 2, 2024.

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Categories: Politics

One thought on “MKE County: Crowley Announces Reelection Bid”

  1. tornado75 says:

    i am glad to see this. i support him.

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