According to Daniel Bice at JSOnline (aka Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), if Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke decides to run for re-election, he will face a qualified and formidable opponent:
Former Milwaukee Police Capt. Earnell Lucas, a vice president for Major League Baseball, is planning to challenge Clarke in the 2018 Democratic primary, according to his campaign adviser.
“Earnell hasn’t announced, but he’s decided to get into this race,” said Sachin Chheda, a political strategist at Nation Consulting. “Earnell is in the process of getting organized.”
Already in campaign mode, Chheda described Lucas as “a dignified man with gravitas, as opposed to what we have now.” Lucas did not return a call for comment.
This is welcome news here at Blogging Blue as we’ve seen our sheriff spout Trumpian rhetoric from just about every dais in conservative America but is seldom seen in the confines of his office in the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Although it would have been a major relief to Milwaukee County residents if President Trump would have appointed him to a position in his regime, I am glad that he hasn’t actually been foisted on the rest of the American public.
The first-term Republican president interviewed the sheriff earlier this year for what was believed to be a post in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Clarke has been vague when asked if he plans to join the Trump team eventually. He is also been recruited heavily by out-of-state groups to run against U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, in her 2018 re-election bid.
And, of course, there’s always the option that Clarke could turn his role as “America’s Sheriff” into a full-time, money-making gig. He’s already pulling in big bucks by giving dozens to talks around the country while still serving as Milwaukee County sheriff.
But even as he has become a national figure and lightning rod, Clarke’s numbers have dipped locally, with his approval rating standing at 31% in Milwaukee County and only 13% among Democrats here, according to one survey. The conservative sheriff runs as a Democrat in Milwaukee County because he couldn’t be elected otherwise.
And it looks like the race might get fairly tight with other candidates expressing interest.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Siefert and Milwaukee Police Lt. Chris Moews have already expressed interest in challenging Clarke in next year’s sheriff’s race. But Moews has lost twice to the sheriff in the 2010 and 2014 Democratic primaries. Siefert, a former cop, received the lowest marks of any circuit judge in the state in a survey conducted by the Gannett Wisconsin Media Investigative Team in 2015.
But it sounds like for 2018, Lucas just might be our man:
A 25-year veteran at the MPD, Lucas rose to the rank of captain, overseeing District 3 from 1999 to 2002. He has spent the last 15 years with Major League Baseball, starting as the head of then-Commissioner Bud Selig’s security detail. He is now the MLB’s vice president of security & facility management.
Lucas, a 58-year-old Milwaukee resident, is a graduate of Marquette University with a degree in criminology and law studies. He also is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and the Northwestern University Traffic Institute School of Police Staff and Command.
Chheda said Lucas would run as a Democrat against Clarke.
So the race is on! I am looking forward to this one!