Ald. Cavalier Johnson elected Milwaukee Common Council president in 8-7 vote

April 23, 2020

On an 8-7 vote, Milwaukee Ald. Cavalier “Chevy” Johnson was elected Common Council president, succeeding Ald. Ashanti Hamilton.

Late last week, Hamilton, who had been seeking re-election to the council’s leadership role, dropped out of the race and instead endorsed Ald. Milele Coggs.

The public split broke with recent precedent in which the race for Common Council president is hashed out behind closed doors with a winner picked unanimously in public.

The vote itself came after a series of statements by Coggs and three of her colleagues in support of her and her decade-plus experience on the council as the city faces significant financial challenges, including from the immense costs of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Incoming Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa also spoke in support of Johnson and the care she said he shows for his residents.

Johnson was first elected in 2016.

The vote followed the swearing in Tuesday of the 15-member Common Council.