Looking ahead to Milwaukee's mayoral primary

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MILWAUKEE (CBS58) —- Ahead of Tuesday’s primary election, all eyes are on the Milwaukee mayoral race.

Paru Shah, professor of political science at UW Milwaukee, says crime is a big issue on each candidate's mind and on the minds of voters.

"Crime is consistently on the top of voters' minds, and so I think each candidate is trying to think through what can we do differently than Mayor Barrett and what are the ways in which this is an opportunity for us to think through what do we want to see,” said Shah.

All seven candidates share similar goals for a safer Milwaukee and each are working to differentiate themselves from one another.

“This is a non-partisan election, but I think each of these candidates would categorize themselves as very progressive around crime and criminal justice issues, so trying to differentiate themselves really from the other candidates,” said Shah.

The person who takes the mayoral seat will need to be someone who works well with state leaders. She says those relationships with Madison will be important in getting funding to tackle certain issues.

"There are many candidates in this primary election that have political history. Senator Taylor would have some relationships with Madison and strong connections there. Mr. Lucas would also have the ability to call on his relationships there,” said Shah.

She also says Acting Mayor Johnson could also be in a position to navigate conversations on the state level.

Historically, voter turnout for a February primary is low, but Prof. Shah says there could be a shift given the historic nature of this election.

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