Boots & Sabers

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1956, 03 Sep 19

Lena Taylor Runs for Milwaukee Mayor

This could be fun.

MILWAUKEE — State Sen. Lena Taylor is looking to be Milwaukee’s next mayor.

Taylor (D-Milwaukee), who is currently serving her fourth term in the Wisconsin Senate, made the announcement Tuesday morning.


“I wake up every day to fight for every corner of our great city. We’ve overcome a decade of national economic hardship and caustic attacks from Madison politicians. We’ve sparked a renewal in Milwaukee that is reinvigorating our city center and our communities as well, investing hundreds of millions of dollars directly into our neighborhoods. Homicides and nonfatal shootings are down two years in a row. And we can’t stop now making this city a place that works for you, your family, your neighbors, and your hopes for the future.”

Taylor has been elected to the Wisconsin legislature for almost 15 years by a substantial portion of the City of Milwaukee. She has a substantial base and a strong following in her district. She is also black in a city minority-majority city. There are a few interesting dynamics at play here:

First, Taylor is not in step with the modern liberal Democratic Party of Wisconsin. She is very liberal on social and financial issues, but she supports School Choice and the 2nd Amendment. Those are both popular positions in much of Milwaukee. Her policy positions, assuming she doesn’t flip-flop, have the potential to pull support from not only traditional Democrats, but from Conservatives in Milwaukee looking for someone closer to their policy positions than Tom Barrett.

Second, Taylor is clearly going to make the case for all of the residents of Milwaukee who don’t live downtown. While downtown Milwaukee has thrived under Mayor Barrett, the rest of the city is falling apart. Infrastructure in the neighborhoods are crumbling. Crime continues to plague many of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. Economic opportunity, lead pipes, jobs, potholes, etc. etc. etc. – Barrett has completely neglected 90% of the city while he clinks glasses with the downtown elite. Barrett’s Trolly Folly is merely the most visible example of his misplaced faulty priorities. Taylor is sure to make the case that the rest of the city deserves attention. This will also come into focus as Barrett is hobnobbing around downtown with elites during the Democratic Convention. Do you think anyone west of 16th, north of Walnut, or south of National are going to see any benefit from that convention as they watch their taxes being poured into it?

Third, there’s no getting around the fact that Taylor is a hot head. She has a reputation for being abusive to her staff, a bully, and incredibly arrogant to anyone she feels lacks the appropriate respect for someone of her self-appointed stature. This should keep the race interesting as we all await the next meltdown.

If it comes down to a race between Barrett and Taylor, I’d vote for Taylor. At least she is interested in the whole city.


1956, 03 September 2019


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    I fell out of my Chair with your conclusion on a Barrett/ Taylor choice.

    You are right. Very scary that bat crazy is better choice in that scenario. Shows how bad Miwaukee governance really is.

  2. Merlin

    Lena Taylor’s biggest negative is Lena Taylor. The woman can’t get out of her own way. If Ashanti Hamilton makes a serious run for mayor it will make Taylor’s ability to fundraise infinitely harder.

    Milwaukee money loves Barrett because he’s manageable at all times and in all things. The money Barrett dropped on Bob Donovan’s head will pale in comparison to what will fall on Lena Taylor.

  3. jjf

     She has a reputation for being abusive to her staff, a bully, and incredibly arrogant to anyone she feels lacks the appropriate respect for someone of her self-appointed stature. 

    It didn’t stop Trump, did it?

  4. Jason

    “Hillary didn’t stop Trump.”

    There fixed that for you Jif.

  5. steveegg

    If I had to choose between Barrett and Taylor, I’d move.

    Oh wait; I already did.

  6. Kevin Scheunemann

    Second savage comment of the week.

    I like it!

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