So according to campaign finance reports, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has raised more than $1 million and has more than $600,000 in the bank. According to the article, Mayor Barrett’s campaign has also released some results of a poll conducted earlier this year that shows Mayor Barrett with a 66% favorability rating and 71% of respondents saying Barrett is doing a good job. With just over four months until the official nomination period begins, it’ll be interesting to see if any serious contenders to Mayor Barrett emerge. No doubt some folks are going to be scared off by his fundraising totals, but I’d be willing to venture a guess that there’ll still be no shortage of candidates seeking to knock Mayor Barrett out of office.
Any list of potential contenders to Mayor Barrett has to start with everyone’s favorite Milwaukee County Sheriff, “Democrat” David Clarke. I use the term “Democrat” loosely when it comes to Sheriff Clarke, only because he’s Democrat out of convenience, not because of his beliefs. According to everything I’ve read, Clarke’s been poo-pooing a possible run against Mayor Barrett, but I tend to believe his ego’s too big for him to sit this one out. If he were smart, he’d sit this election out, simply because he’s not likely to finish much better this time than he did in 2003, when he finished third. Another likely contender is Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan, a man who never met a camera he didn’t want to spend some time talking to. I suppose that’s the nature of a politician, but Bob Donovan just strikes me as being more snake oil salesman and less public servant, and I honestly believe it’s just a matter of time before he’s caught doing something illegal/immoral/improper.
I’m sure there’ll be some less obvious folks who run to try and oust Mayor Barrett, but I really don’t think anyone stands a chance of beating Tom Barrett. Milwaukee loves its incumbent Mayors, and Tom Barrett has done about as well as anyone could have expected since taking office. If I still lived in Milwaukee, I know I’d cast my vote for Tom Barrett.