Voters in Wisconsin’s largest city reelected their longtime mayor, while those in other cities elected a change in civic leadership.
Tom Barrett has secured another term as Milwaukee’s mayor. His fifth term, defeating state Senator Lena Taylor 63 percent to 37 percent, according to unofficial results. Barrett argued now was not the time for new leadership.
Being your Mayor is the honor of a lifetime. In these difficult times, I will work tirelessly to lift up every neighborhood in our city.
— Tom Barrett (@Barrett4MKE) April 14, 2020
Taylor promised a focus on glaring racial inequalities, and said the needs of downtown have taken precedent over those of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.
In Appleton, where Mayor Tim Hanna elected not run after 24 years in office, Jake Woodford defeated Jim Clemons, 54 percent to 42 percent.
I’m honored to be Appleton’s Mayor-elect and grateful for the trust my fellow Appletonians have placed in me. Thank you to all who helped to make this possible, and to the people who worked tirelessly to deliver a free and fair election under extreme circumstances. #Appleton
— Jake Woodford (@jakewoodford920) April 14, 2020
Woodford, a special assistant to the president at Lawrence University, also received the most votes during the February primary, when eight candidates were on the ballot.
Voters in Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids also elected new mayors. Challenger Katie Rosenberg unseated incumbent first term Mayor Robert Mielke in Wausau, 52 percent to 47 percent.
— Katie Rosenberg (@katierosenberg) April 13, 2020
In Wisconsin Rapids, former Alder Shane Blaser defeated incumbent Zach Vruwink. Vruwink has been Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids since 2012.
Other mayoral races in the area were uncontested with Marshfield Mayor Bob McManus and Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza re-elected to their positions.
In Onalaska, Kim Smith was officially declared the winner Monday night, making history as the first woman to be elected to lead the La Crosse County city.
Smith had served as interim mayor since last December, when former mayor Joe Chilsen suddenly resigned over health concerns.