Skip to content

Milwaukee elects first Black mayor

Cavalier Johnson became the first African American elected mayor of Milwaukee on April 5, overwhelming a former alderman to win the right to finish the last two years of Tom Barrett’s term, reports the Associated Press. Johnson, who had served as acting mayor since Barrett resigned in December to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, had been considered a heavy favorite after winning a seven-person primary by 20 points.

With unofficial returns nearly complete, Johnson — a Democrat running in a Democratic stronghold — had 68 percent of the vote to conservative Bob Donovan’s 32 percent.

Barrett had been Milwaukee mayor since 2004 Johnson, 35, was first elected to the Common Council in 2016 and became president in April 2020.