Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wins fifth term

NOW: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wins fifth term

Updated: 6:21 p.m. on April 13, 2020 

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Tom Barrett has been re-elected as the City of Milwaukee Mayor. This is Barrett's fifth term as mayor.

With 99 percent of votes reported, Barrett beat State Senator Lena Taylor 65% to 37%. Barrett has been the mayor of Wisconsin's largest city since he was first elected back in 2004.

Taylor criticized the incumbent mayor for focusing too much on downtown Milwaukee, while neglecting some of its neighborhoods.

But Barrett’s campaign message of unity ultimately won out.

He campaigned on his track record, specifically a reduction in crime and the city gaining 20,000 jobs over the past 10 years.

There was no watch party for the mayor during the pandemic, he joined us on a zoom call from his home.

“I'm not exactly in a party atmosphere, or a party environment," Barrett said. "No one in the city is, and  no one really should be. And tomorrow i’m going to get up, and we’re going to have our cabinet meeting, and we’re going to continue to work, to do everything we can as a city to help encourage people to do their social distancing, but as quickly as we can i want to pivot. And i want to get more testing.”

Barrett says his long term goals are getting more family supporting jobs into Milwaukee's neighborhoods and continuing to reduce crime. He thanked voters for giving him a fifth term in a landslide.

“I think people understand how much I care about this community," Barrett said. "I think people understand that I’m trying to do everything I can, not to just get through the COVID-19 crisis, but to do everything I can to move this city forward. And we’ve had increases in the number of jobs in the city, the fact that for four years in a row, our violent crime went down.”


Published: 3:17 p.m. on April 13, 2020 

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Mayor Tom Barrett is running for a fifth term against Milwaukee State Senator Lena Taylor. 

Mayor Tom Barrett rolled in the primary, beating second place Lena Taylor by 19 points in the February election. At the time, some in his camp thought the general election would be closer. 

But Taylor was running partially on Barrett neglecting the north side of Milwaukee, and some are worried the north side vote was disproportionately affected by voting during the pandemic. 

Barrett was first elected mayor back in 2004, and is currently running for his fifth term in office. Much of his campaign focused on his track record. 

He pointed to the city gaining 20,000 workers over the past 10 years, a decrease in crime, and bringing the 2020 Democratic National Convention to the city. 

Senator Lena Taylor has criticized many of the decisions the city of Milwaukee made regarding the election, including decisions by her challenger, current Mayor Tom Barrett.

Taylor questioned why the city only had five polling places last Tuesday and why certain sites were chosen. 

Taylor first announced her candidacy for mayor in September, following years of speculation that she might be interested in the seat. 

She beat out Alder Tony Zielinski and Independent Paul Rasky during the primary. 

Taylor was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2004. She previously served in the State Assembly. Scott Walker beat her out in 2008 in the race for County Executive.

She has said she is standing up for people in the city's neighborhoods and has accused Barrett of only caring about Milwaukee's downtown area and the DNC.

She says if elected, she would focus on providing more equal opportunities and try to reduce the racial wealth gap.

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