Milwaukee will take one step closer to electing a new mayor on Tuesday, February 15. That’s the day when the city will vote in the 2022 Spring Primary. Fun! Register to vote HERE. Find out about early voting and other voting stuff HERE.

So who’s on the ballot? Seven candidates are vying to fill the remaining two years of Tom Barrett’s mayoral term. (Barrett resigned early to become the U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, as one does.) The mayoral race is nonpartisan, so the top two vote-getters will square off in the general election on Tuesday, April 5. Milwaukee County voters in districts 1, 3, and 12 will also find a primary race for County Board of Supervisors on the February 15 ballots.

Here are the candidates, arranged in alphabetical order. VOTE!


Marina Dimitrijevic

Current Bay View alderwoman, former County Supervisor

Current chair of the Public Safety & Health Committee, advocated for the return of a citywide mask mandate

• ISSUES: Public Safety; COVID-19 Pandemic Response; Support Working Families; Public Education; Climate Justice; Defending Democracy; Jobs and Small Business

• ENDORSEMENTS: Teamsters Local 200 and Local 344; MATC Faculty Union; Women Lead; United Auto Workers; Voces De La Frontera; UFCW Local 1473; Citizen Action of Wisconsin; more

• FUN FACT: She totally shot her campaign pictures in Black Cat Alley

Bob Donovan

Longtime south side alderman who did not run for reelection in 2020

Ran for mayor against Barrett in 2016, lost 70% to 30%

• ISSUES: Public Safety; Economic Development; Reckless Driving; Housing Crisis and Homelessness; Partisan Politics, Local Government, and our Fiscal Challenges; Violent Criminals out on bail

• ENDORSEMENTS: Edward Liebrecht (retired Assistant Police Chief); Sharon Ward (Milwaukee Tavern League); Glenn Frankovis (retired MPD Captain); Ramon Orosco (owner, Tres Hermanos Mexican Restaurant); Rich Lond (retired Milwaukee DPW Manager); more

• FUN FACT: Held a “Burn The Masks” party in June 2021 with ex-sheriff David Clarke

Ieshuh Griffin

Independent candidate running a self-described “Poor People’s Piece of the Pie” campaign

Attempted to run under the slogan “NOT the White Man’s bitch” in a previous campaign

• FUN FACT: Even though the news said she didn’t make it to a recent mayoral firkin tapping, she did, in fact, make it

Cavalier Johnson

Current Acting Mayor of Milwaukee

Was (and still is) president of the Milwaukee Common Council

• ISSUES: Public Safety; Creating Jobs; Fighting COVID

• ENDORSEMENTS: David Crowley (County Executive); IBEW Local 494; LaTonya Johnson (State Senator); Evan Goyke (State Representative); Nik Kovac (Alderman); Bob Bauman (Alderman); Marty Schreiber (former Governor); Willie Hines, Jr. (former Milwaukee Common Council President); more.

• FUN FACT: He’s a Batman fan!

Earnell Lucas

Current Milwaukee County Sheriff, elected in 2018

Served 25 years in the Milwaukee Police Department

• ISSUES: Addressing Crime & Disorder; Enhancing Equity & Public Works; Citywide Economic Development; Public Health; Strong Financial Management

• FUN FACT: Anyone in Lucas’ current position is better than David Clarke

Michael Sampson

First-time political candidate

Founded SWARMM Events, which runs Milwaukee Oktoberfest, 12 Bars of Christmas, and Shamrock Shuffle

• ISSUES: Crime; COVID; Common Sense

• ENDORSEMENTS: “Endorsed by over 100 bars & restaurants”

• FUN FACT: Sampson recently sold the rights to four other SWARMM events—Donut & Coffee Fest, Milwaukee Taco Fest, Milwaukee Wing Fest, Milwaukee BBQ Fest—to OnMilwaukee

Lena Taylor

Currently serving a fifth term as a Wisconsin State Senator

Ran for mayor against Barrett in 2020, lost 63% to 37%

• ISSUES: Reduce Crime & Restore Safe Neighborhoods; Increase Family Supporting Jobs & Entrepreneurship; Replace Lead Pipes & Improve Public Health; Improve Education Outcomes

• FUN FACT: That whole bank teller thing from 2018


Karen Gentile

Liz Sumner (i)


Jennifer Current

Eric Rorholm

• FUN FACT: Endorsed by the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America

Sheldon A. Wasserman (i)


Christian Saldivar Frias

Rosie King

Juan Miguel Martinez

• FUN FACT: Endorsed by the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America. A damn fine writer.

Josh Zepnick

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.