Barrett scheduled for Senate hearing Tuesday to become Ambassador of Luxembourg

NOW: Barrett scheduled for Senate hearing Tuesday to become Ambassador of Luxembourg

MILWAUKEE Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barret's departure from office might be happening sooner than expected now that a Senate committee scheduled a hearing regarding his nomination to become U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 2nd to hear testimony from Barrett. It comes after President Joe Biden nominated him to serve as Ambassador of Luxembourg in August.

Mayor Barrett's office says he will not leave Milwaukee until there is a full Senate confirmation vote, but city leaders say the timeline is working out well. 

Milwaukee's election commission says Mayor Barrett's Senate confirmation appears on track for the city to hold the next mayoral election during the spring primary, saving taxpayer dollars.

"We have until Dec. 28 for the council to make that order, if the mayor were to resign, and we could save about $350,000 per election," said Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Elections Commission.

Between Barrett's departure and the next mayor being sworn in, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will take over as interim major. 

Johnson says his three biggest priorities are jobs, Covid response and tackling Milwaukee's historic crime spike.

"I'm going to be focusing on a laser to reduce that. To end things like reckless driving, using initiatives not just with enforcement, but with prevention and education," Johnson said.

Candidates to replace Barrett include Johnson, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas and former Milwaukee alderman Bob Donovan.

"Of all the other opponents, my opponents running in this election, I have the most experience of any of them in local government," Donovan said. 

The field also includes current Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, who says she will not run the city as Barrett has.

"I have a record and a progressive vision. People know me and know what to expect.  And what you can expect is me challenging the status quo," Dimitrijevic said.

Barrett has been the mayor of Milwaukee since 2004, and is currently the nation's longest-serving major city mayor.

His confirmation vote has yet to be scheduled. 

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