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Wisconsin's presidential primary and spring general election is April 2, 2024. Here's a guide on Milwaukee-area candidates and information on how to vote.

Meet the candidates for Milwaukee County executive

Images courtesy of candidates
Milwaukee County executive candidates: Ieshuh Griffin and David Crowley (incumbent)

Milwaukee County is a mixture of metropolitan, suburban, and rural living and includes 19 municipalities. Milwaukee County is governed by a county executive as the county’s chief executive officer, with legislative power exercised by the county board of supervisors. Some of the county executive duties and powers include: coordinating and directing all administrative and management functions of the county government, appoint and supervise the heads of all county departments, and introduce proposed ordinances and resolutions for consideration by the board. You can read more about the duties of a county executive here.

WUWM sent a questionnaire to the Milwaukee County executive candidates appearing on the April 2 primary ballot. Their responses below (in alphabetical order) are edited for length and clarity.

David Crowley (incumbent)

Courtesy of David Crowley
David Crowley was sworn in as Milwaukee County Executive on May 1, 2020. He is running for a second term in the April 2 election.

As an incumbent candidate, what do you feel was your biggest or most significant impact in your first term and what’s your priority for a second term?

Throughout my first term, we have been able to accomplish great things for the people of Milwaukee County. We've been able to invest tens of millions of dollars into addressing the opioid epidemic, improving our emergency operations and public health services, funding an eviction prevention program, building affordable housing in the suburbs, providing grants for over 1,500 small businesses, and community-based violence prevention. We've also expanded bus routes, honed in on our strategy of advancing racial equity, improved employee compensation, welcomed new development into our community, and much more.

We even did all this while facing the COVID-19 pandemic, but our work is not done. I'm optimistic that we can continue to come together to face all of our challenges, improve the health and safety of our neighborhoods, and continue to move Milwaukee County forward.

Following Wisconsin Act 12 and the update to the countywide sales tax, what is the next pressing priority for Milwaukee County’s budget?

1. Making sure that Milwaukee County grows in a sustainable way and ensuring we can provide family sustaining jobs and economic opportunity for all Milwaukee County residents, regardless of what municipality they live in.

2. Ensuring that all Milwaukee County residents are safe in our public spaces and on our roads.

3. Continuing to address the racial inequities facing Milwaukee County residents whether they be in health outcomes, economic opportunities, housing, or any other quality of life issue areas.

How would you work to advance racial equity in Milwaukee County?

Milwaukee County was the first government of its kind to declare racism as a public health crisis. Addressing racial disparities and creating real equity in Milwaukee County is at the heart of everything I do as County Executive. My administration has created seven internal strategy teams to help advance work in the three strategic focus areas of our strategic plan: Creating Intentional Inclusion, Bridging the Gap, and Investing in Equity.

Crowley's internal strategy teams are as follows: Diversity and Inclusion, Equitable Contracting, Service Alignment, Integration, Racial Equity Lens, Fiscal Health, and Inclusive Communities.

You can read more about Crowley’s goal to achieve racial equity here.

With the RNC, so many eyes will be on Milwaukee this year. What is the one thing you wish people would notice here — and why?

The RNC provides Milwaukee with another opportunity to demonstrate the hospitality and amenities our world-class city can provide for visitors - for business or pleasure. I have heard time and again from those experiencing our city for the first time what a hidden gem it is, from our beautiful county parks, our sparkling freshwater lakefront, the hundreds of top-notch restaurants and small business opportunities, and our vibrant, bustling communities. But what I believe people notice most when they visit Milwaukee County is just how kind and welcoming folks are and how much pride we have in our county. I encourage everyone to come to Milwaukee County to see what’s happening, no matter how far they travel. Come cheer on our Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum, stop at a farmers market in Oak Creek and bike the trail along the lakefront. There is always something to do in Milwaukee County.

Links: Website

Ieshuh Griffin

Milwaukee County Executive candidate Ieshuh Griffin
Photo Supplied By Ieshuh Griffin
Milwaukee County Executive candidate Ieshuh Griffin

What is your number one priority or issue you want to address as County Executive?

The number one issue is inequalities. Although there are a vast majority of pertinent issues that must be addressed, inequalities cause discrimination. Discrimination, in turn, causes failure to address, and failure to serve; it renders arbitrary treatment and has a devastating ripple effect on many who are subjected to it.

Following Wisconsin Act 12 and the update to the countywide sales tax, what is the next pressing priority for Milwaukee County’s budget?

Services to constituents. Milwaukee County is the most underserved County in the State of Wisconsin. Even the bridges are in disarray, the aging are severely undeserved, if served at all. Services, are a must.

How would you work to advance racial equity in Milwaukee County?

Inclusion in all aspects and zero tolerance for discrimination.

With the RNC, so many eyes will be on Milwaukee this year. What is the one thing you wish people would notice here — and why?

The utter disregard for making Milwaukee a top tier city by those who purport to be in office. A light needs to be shined on this catastrophe, it in turn will begin to highlight the failures of the so called leaders, in an effort to bring about a "movement" for necessary improvements.

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Your feedback will help inform our election coverage.

Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
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