Tearman Spencer, Milwaukee's first African American elected city attorney, joins the list of candidates vying for mayor

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Tearman Spencer, Milwaukee's first African American elected city attorney, has joined the list of candidates vying to become mayor. 

He was the ninth candidate to enter the race.

Spencer was elected last year, but his term is one that's been marred with controversy. Despite that, political analysts think he has a good shot at the primary. 

One reason, voters likely already know Spencer. 

"The city attorney walks into the field well known. He has very high name recognition," said Mordecai Lee, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

That could make him a standout among the other candidates in the primary. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15. 

"I mean it's hard to imagine a campaign where you start and five weeks later you're in or you're out," said Lee.

The top two vote getters will move on to the special election on Tuesday, April 5. 

"If you're running in such a snap election you've got to have some kind of knack where you can appeal to the voters," said Lee.

The field of candidates continues to grow. After spencer filed with the Milwaukee Election Commission on Thursday, Jan 30, a tenth candidate, J.B Paplham, entered his name into the field as well. 

"There's no doubt that this is sort of a once in a generation race because Milwaukee voters tend to keep Milwaukee mayors for a long time," said Lee.

Candidates must have at least 1500 nominating signatures by Tuesday, Jan. 11. We reached out to Spencer for comment but haven't heard back. We know mayor Cavalier Johnson plans to collect signatures outside of El Rey Supermarket Friday morning.

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