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Sean Lowe wins recount in Wauwatosa, becomes city's first Black male alderperson

Sean Lowe being sworn into office
Chuck Quirmbach
Minutes after winning the aldermanic recount Thursday night, Sean Lowe (left) was sworn into office by Wauwatosa City Clerk Steve Braatz.

Sean Lowe is the first Black man elected to the Wauwatosa Common Council. Thursday night, Lowe won a recount of the April 5th election, defeating incumbent District 5 Ald. Rob Gustafson by the same one-vote margin and with the same vote total as were in place going into the recount.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Lowe asked Wauwatosa City Clerk Steve Braatz to confirm the tally.

Lowe: "703-702?"

Braatz: "703-702."

Lowe: "Thank you."

Braatz: "You're welcome."

Lowe said he's excited to start working on the issues that he promised during his campaign he would address.

"Affordable housing is top of the line for me. I want to work on banning no-knock warrants in this city and also make sure that we protect green spaces, that we protect the County Grounds and make sure we have support for small businesses, especially women and minority-owned small businesses, which were hurt the most during the pandemic," Lowe told WUWM.

Police use of no-knock warrants to arrest a suspect is one of the more controversial issues in law enforcement. Lowe said that there have been too many tragedies in other parts of the country with police entering a dwelling and shooting Black individuals.

"[Such as] what happened to Breonna Taylor [in Louisville] and also Amir Locke in Minneapolis. Just when you think it stops, you have another situation happening again. My goal is stop all of those situations from happening in Wauwatosa. I don't want to repeat a national news situation here. We're going to be a city that's welcome for all," Lowe said.

Rob Gustafson (left) and Sean Lowe (seated at rear) watched the recount process Thursday evening. The process took about thirteen hours.
Chuck Quirmbach
Rob Gustafson (left) and Sean Lowe (seated at rear) watched the recount process Thursday evening. The process took about thirteen hours.

Lowe joins Margaret Arney on the Wauwatosa Common Council. Last week, Arney became the first Black woman elected to that panel. For now, they'll serve with 14 other alderpersons. But a second recount Thursday confirmed approval of an April 5 referendum that will eventually reduce the size of the Wauwatosa Common Council from 16 to 12.

Gustafson said he doesn't regret asking for the recount, and praises election employees for getting the numbers right the first time. Jokingly, Gustafson said he'll be emailing Lowe if Gustafson's garbage isn't picked up by city crews.

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