Six candidates likely to move forward in race for Milwaukee mayor

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee voters will likely see six mayoral candidates on the primary ballot in February.

Candidates who turned in their nomination papers on time will have all of their signatures reviewed and certified by the end of Tuesday. That gives candidates two full days to restore any issues or challenges before the Friday deadline.

As of Wednesday, and if no challenges arise, the Milwaukee Election Commission plans to recommend Cavalier Johnson, Bob Donovan, Michael Sampson, Earnell Lucas, Marina Dimitrijevic and Lena Taylor to be placed on the ballot. An official decision will come when they meet on Monday.

"There are other candidates who could technically file corrective affidavits or appeals. So, it's not final until our board meets on Monday," Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg said.

Some of those names might already be recognizable. Of the candidates, there's an acting mayor, former and current Common Council members, a sheriff, a state senator and an entrepreneur.

"There's a real advantage to holding public office and running for another public office," University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor Emeritus Mordecai Lee said. "I think what we're going to be seeing during this frantic mad dash to the February primary is people trying to hone a message that goes, 'I'm the only candidate who...fill in the blank.'"

The two candidates with the most votes in the primary election on Feb. 15 will advance to the spring election on April 5. Whoever wins will be mayor of Milwaukee for the remainder of Tom Barrett's term, which ends in April 2024.

"Given that the primary is only a month away, I guess this is the political equivalent of a kind of son of death," Lee said. "I think this is going to be a real clump. In other words, the results are going to be very tied up close together."

The deadline to challenge a candidate's signature is Friday, Jan. 14.

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