Making History: Cavalier Johnson is Milwaukee’s first African American elected mayor

April 7, 2022

Photo by Yvonne Kemp

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Milwaukee turned out to the polls to elect a new mayor. Since the a very packed field was narrowed in primary, the two top runners were interim Mayor Cavalier Johnson and former Ald. Bob Donovan. After the votes were tallied Cavalier Johnson receiving 71.69 percent of the vote, has been formally elected as our first new mayor in 18 years. Johnson is also our first fully elected black mayor and our first Millennial elected to the office.

The mayoral seat opened up when former Mayor Tom Barrett was nominated as United States Ambassador to Luxembourg and confirmed by Congress in December. Then Common Council president Cavalier Johnson was sworn in as acting mayor after Barrett formally resigned from office.

“This city for the first time in our 176-year history has elected its first Black mayor. We did it,” Johnson told supporters at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.