Jeramey Jannene

Burgelis Bests Zepnick For Council Seat

County supervisor wins open Common Council seat.

By - Apr 2nd, 2024 11:46 pm
Peter Burgelis and Josh Zepnick. Image from the Burgelis campaign and Wisconsin Blue Book (Zepnick).

Peter Burgelis and Josh Zepnick. Image from the Burgelis campaign and Wisconsin Blue Book (Zepnick).

Southwest side Milwaukee voters are sending Peter Burgelis to City Hall.

Burgelis, a first-term county supervisor, won the race Tuesday to replace retiring alderman Mark Borkowski.

The 11th District race pitted Burgelis against former state representative Josh Zepnick. The county supervisor netted 57.1% of the vote (3,572 votes), while Zepnick earned 42.1% (2,766 votes) in a race that saw its margin grow substantially after absentee ballots were reported.

The final vote total largely mirrored the 2020 result for the seat, but Burgelis was on the winning side this time. He previously lost to Borkowski 58-42, but later developed a working relationship with the veteran politician. Now, he’ll follow in Borkowski’s footsteps, making the jump from the county board to the city council.

The new alderman also works as a private wealth mortgage loan originator for U.S. Bank. He did not run for reelection for his part-time county board seat.

His top priority, according to his campaign website, is public safety. He said he is also focused on reliable city services, revenue accountability and delivering results instead of cheap political talk.

Zepnick served in the Wisconsin State Assembly as a Democrat from 2003 to 2019. He was upset in a 2018 primary by Marisabel Cabrera after being accused of kissing female colleagues against their will years earlier. Zepnick said he went into recovery and, by the time of the 2018 election, was sober for three years. Cabrera will need to vacate Zepnick’s former seat on account of her winning a circuit court race Tuesday.

A Legislative Reference Bureau report says 65.6% of the district’s voting-age residents identify as white, 21.5% Hispanic, 5.6% Black and 4.4% Asian. It was 77.9% white following the 2010 census, but has seen its demographics change following the end of the city’s residency requirement. A district map highlights the specific boundaries.

Burgelis is one of three new council members who were elected Tuesday, joining Sharlen Moore and DiAndre Jackson.

The 15 council members are elected to four-year terms and paid $84,205 annually. Their job responsibilities include everything from setting policy for the city to fielding constituent concerns with garbage pickup.

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Categories: City Hall, Politics

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