So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.
Yes, the City of Milwaukee is set to get its first new mayor since 2004. At 5 p.m. today, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will officially resign. Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will immediately take over. Barrett announced his official resignation at a press conference Wednesday morning.
“This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life, and it’s the most rewarding job I’ve had in my entire life,” Barrett said.
Barrett’s official resignation letter, submitted to the Milwaukee Common Council, reads:
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, effective 5:00 p.m. central time, on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Milwaukee. I am confident that the City will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead.
My best wishes to the entire City of Milwaukee for a happy and healthy 2022 New Year.
Barrett, 68, is headed off into the sunset to become…the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. Well, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to be exact. President Joe Biden nominated Barrett to the post in August. The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination last week.
While Johnson will officially become Mayor Johnson at 5 p.m. today, it won’t be a guaranteed gig for long. Per state law, the Common Council is required to call a special mayoral election “as promptly as possible.” The Common Council is expected to call that special election—which will include a February 15 primary and an April 5 election—at a meeting Thursday morning.
The mayoral race will be crowded, and will include Johnson, Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, former alderman Bob “Sorry, This Stall Is Occupied” Donovan, Michael Sampson, Nick McVey, and Sheila Conley-Patterson.
The winner will serve out the rest of Barrett’s fifth term, which ends in 2024.
Barrett was first elected mayor in 2004. He was re-elected in 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020. Say what you will about him, but he deserves Milwaukee sainthood for that whole State Fair thing in 2009.
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