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Cavalier Johnson, 35, became the first African American elected mayor of Milwaukee on Tuesday in a landslide victory over a former alderman, earning the right to finish the last two years of Tom Barrett’s term.
Johnson had been serving as acting mayor since Barrett resigned in December to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, according to NBC News.
Cavalier Johnson won without breaking a sweat.
With unofficial returns nearly complete, Johnson — a Democrat running in a Democratic stronghold — had 62,143 votes to Donovan’s 24,543. Essentially, Johnson claimed 72% of the vote versus 28% for Donovan.
Johnson is Milwaukee’s first millennial mayor, his latest triumph confirming his swift six-year ascension from Common Council freshman to the seat of power in Wisconsin’s largest city.
Milwaukee’s new mayor reflects his community.
Cavalier Johnson, who was born, raised, and still resides on Milwaukee’s north side, overwhelmed former south side Ald. Bob Donovan in a special election to an abbreviated two-year term.
“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.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson remained focused on the goals at hand, “We’ve got a lot to do,” he said, adding the city has to stem violence, restore its neighborhoods, create jobs, and repair the broken relationship with the state government.
Milwaukee’s Black Mayor needs Black-owned businesses.
Speaking of jobs, a recent study from Lending Tree revealed Fayetteville, North Carolina contains the highest percentage of Black-owned businesses while Milwaukee, Wisconsin contains the least. To be exact, only a meager 1.8% of businesses are Black-owned in Milwaukee at last count.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, their city is expected to receive nearly $200 million in federal pandemic aid which Mayor Johnson could use to transform Milwaukee’s economy whilst developing businesses catered to people who’ve historically been overlooked.
Along with Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s initiatives, the Wisconsin Black Chamber is also planning to add 3,000 new businesses by 2024. With the momentum of a newly elected candidate and plans to revitalize economic empowerment, the prosperity of Black folks in Milwaukee and statewide is gaining steam by the day.