Primary review: Roundup of Milwaukee-area election results

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Note: The Journal Sentinel published a live updates story on Tuesday's primary election in Wisconsin. Here's a recap:

It's election day in Wisconsin and, if you live in the Milwaukee area, you might have a primary election. Some Wisconsin voters headed to the polls to narrow down fields of candidates for local offices, such as city councils and school boards.

You didn't see presidential candidates on your ballot today — the presidential primary in Wisconsin isn't until April 2. There were no statewide races on the ballot.

Primaries: Milwaukee area Election Results

Not every race has a primary. It's only needed, generally, if there are more than twice the number of candidates as there are open seats — more than two candidates for one seat, more than four candidates for two seats, etc.

More: Here's your guide to the Milwaukee-area races in the Feb. 20 Wisconsin primary election

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel posted updates as results came in.

Turnout in Milwaukee was around 11%

Turnout in Milwaukee was 11.47%, according to the Milwaukee Elections Commission. About 31,000 ballots were cast in the spring primary election out of about 270,000 registered voters — though that number might not take into account new voters who registered at the polls.

The spring primary typically sees lower turnout than other elections. Nonpartisan spring elections have ranged from about 12% to 34% since 2000. Turnout is higher when there's a contentious state Supreme Court race on the ballot, which wasn't the case this year.

Waukesha Village Board incumbent doesn't advance in close race

Incumbent Michael L. Gorectke lost reelection to the Waukesha Village Board. Roger Adams and Cheryl Kaye will advance to the April election to compete for the Trustee 3 spot.

The election was close. Gorectke took in 189 votes, or 30.9%, compared to Kaye's 196 votes, or 32.1%. Adams took 226 votes, or 37%.

Milwaukee-area primary results are in

Milwaukee absentee ballots rolled in just after 10 p.m. Cavalier Johnson will face Wisconsin God Squad founder David King in the April Election. King had with 10% of the vote to Ieshuh Griffin's 4%.

Three Common Council races had primaries. The races — in Districts 5, 7 and 11 — were part of a continued shift on the council as more senior members have departed in recent years. Among those who are not running for re-election this year are District 7 Ald. Khalif Rainey, District 10 Ald. Michael Murphy and District 11 Ald. Mark Borkowski.

District 5 Ald. Lamont Westmoreland, who was elected in the April 2023 special election, faced challengers for the seat.

Suburban school boards also saw competitive primaries in Cudahy, Franklin, Shorewood, Germantown, Greendale and Harford.

-Lainey Seyler

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson cruises to primary win

Incumbent Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson cruised to a first-place finish in the mayoral primary Tuesday, advancing to the April 2 general election.

Johnson had 82% of the vote Tuesday evening with 95% of wards reporting but absentee ballots still outstanding.

In a statement, Johnson said he was "filled with immense gratitude" for the results.

Read More

County Supervisor Alexander advances

Veteran Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander will advance to the April 2 general election to square off challenger Brandon M. Williford.

According to unofficial results, Alexander led the race by 12 votes in the 18th District with 43.86% and with 42.88%. Absentee votes had not been counted.

In April, voters will determine who will take the supervisory seat for the county's farthest northwest corner, District 18, that abuts Waukesha County and Ozaukee County, with its eastern border stretching parts of Brown Deer.

Read More

Burgelis, Zepnick appear headed to April 2 match for south side aldermanic seat

Milwaukee voters on Tuesday chose the candidates who will move forward in the three Common Council races where primaries were held.

The races — in Districts 5, 7 and 11 — were part of a continued shift on the council as more senior members have departed in recent years.

Among those who are not running for re-election this year are District 7 Ald. Khalif Rainey, District 10 Ald. Michael Murphy and District 11 Ald. Mark Borkowski.

District 5 Ald. Lamont Westmoreland, who was elected in the April 2023 special election, faced challengers for the seat.

Here are the top two vote-getters in each primary race. They move forward to the April 2 election:

Read More

Here are the winners of suburban Milwaukee school board primary races

Ahead of contentious April school board elections, some Wisconsin districts fielded so many candidates that they had to hold primary elections Tuesday to narrow the field.

With nationwide attention fixated on classroom politics in recent years, school board elections have become flashpoints with political parties investing heavily in their outcomes.

Here are the results from Tuesday that determine who voters will see on their ballots in April.

Read More

Quicker check-ins at Cudahy polling stations

City of Cudahy Clerk Kelly Sobieski said turnout as of 4:13 p.m. was like a typical February election on the ballot.

However, Sobieski said that the lower turnout allowed for the debut of new equipment called the Badger Book, an electronic poll book allowing for quicker check-ins of voters. It is being used at both the city’s polling locations, Cudahy Family Library and Cudahy High School.

“We are using that to train our poll workers with an active election and it’s working out really well. So we have not had any issues with the new process or any machines. Things are running very smoothly. Voters and poll workers seem to really enjoy the new process,” Sobieski said in a phone interview.

Some voters who spoke to the Journal Sentinel at the Cudahy Family Library said they were looking for change, accountability and putting kids first.

Mary Olson was one of them, saying that there needs to be new people on the board. She also wants students in the district to have the same opportunities she had when she attended school in the district.

“It’s important to keep young families here and keep children here and give them a reason and give them good schools,” Olson said.

Change in the board membership, as well as accountability for the district and district employees, was something Kerry Daub and her husband, who declined to give his name, were looking for.

“Open records – asking for information from them is like pulling teeth. I’ve experienced that a number of times. We’ve have one child go through the district and one that’s still in the district. I’ve seen good changes over the years, but I’ve seen a lot more negative changes that over the last couple years that I think are hurting our district,” Kerry Daub said.

Jeb Ebben said it’s important to support candidates who put kids first.

“Supporting people who actually care about the students rather than making some political points or furthering some hidden agenda,” Ebben said.

-Alec Johnson

Strong turnout in Greendale school board vote

At Greendale High School, chief inspector Duane Freitag said turnout was higher than he expected for an election only for school board. There were 475 votes cast at the location as of about 6 p.m.

Voters who talked to the Journal Sentinel said they wanted candidates with experience.

A mother who didn’t give her name said she moved to Greendale for the schools and wanted school board members who are “able to see all sides of an issue” and aren’t “necessarily focused on their own personal agenda.”

Leanne Taylor, whose daughter recently graduated from the high school, said she valued the district’s curriculum, arts, music and sports programs. The main problem she saw was bullying, especially toward students of color and students from less wealthy families.

“The parents have to say this is wrong,” she said.

-Rory Linnane

Low turnout in Germantown

At an American Legion Post in Germantown, chief inspector Dave Rampson said turnout is the lowest he has seen in his seven years on the job. Just 144 people had voted as of 5 p.m., in an area with about 3,700 registered voters.

Rampson said he thinks it’s slow because there’s only one race on the ballot — a school board seat.Two voters who spoke to the Journal Sentinel outside the Legion Post Tuesday evening said their top concerns were related to LGBTQ issues — but for different reasons.

Walter Krueger, Jr., said he wants to see the school board stop “transgender crap.”

“Teaching should be more like math and science and stuff like that, instead of transgender stuff and blah, blah, blah,” Krueger said.

Another voter, who didn’t want to give his name, said he was voting against people he viewed as “far right.”

“I don’t want somebody on the school board who is going to be banning books or not open to the needs of students that are in sexual minorities,” he said. “I’ll probably be the only person in Germantown who says that.”

-Rory Linnane

Polls close at 8 p.m. in Wisconsin

If you're just getting off work and haven't voted yet, you have about three hours left. Polls in Wisconsin are still open until 8 p.m. today. If you're in line at your polling place by 8 p.m., you can vote.

Reminder: You can check where your polling place is located by entering your address at this link.

Who are the primary candidates for Milwaukee mayor?

The mayoral race is the only citywide contest for Milwaukee voters. Incumbent Cavalier Johnson faces two competitors: David King and Ieshuh Griffin. Alison Dirr has all the background here.

Johnson was elected in 2022 to the remaining two years on the term of former Mayor Tom Barrett. He had previously served as Common Council president and, before that, a member of the council since 2016.

More: How big policy wins put Cavalier Johnson and David Crowley in the political driver's seat

King, founder of the Wisconsin God Squad, has unsuccessfully sought positions as Republican lieutenant governor in 2022, Milwaukee mayor in 2020, Milwaukee Common Council District 9 in 2016, and the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, among others.

Griffin, who's running under the slogan "The Poor People's Piece of the Pie Campaign," has also run in various local and state elections. She's also running in April for Milwaukee County executive and in Milwaukee Aldermanic District 3 against Ald. Jonathan Brostoff.

When are polls open in Wisconsin for primary election?

Polls are open in Wisconsin from7 a.m. until 8 p.m. To find your polling place, visit and enter your address.

You can also visit that website to check what your ballot will look like ahead of time and check to see whether you're registered to vote.

What do I need to bring to the polls to vote in Wisconsin's primary election?

You need to bring a current photo ID that has your name on it to the polls to be issued a ballot. Here's the Wisconsin Elections Commission's list of accepted forms of identification.

You can register to vote at your polling place, or re-register if you've moved or changed addresses since the last time you voted. In that case, you'll need to bring a document to show proof of residence.

A driver's license or ID card issued by the DMV count as proof as residence, if it shows your current address. Or, you can bring documents like a lease, utility bill or bank statement. You can find a full list of accepted documents here.

What do I do if I still have an absentee ballot?

Local clerks must receive your ballot by the time polls close on Election Day, so it's too late to mail it back. Instead, you can physically bring your absentee ballot to your assigned polling place or central count location before the polls close at 8 p.m.

In Milwaukee, you can drop off absentee ballots curbside at the Election Operations Center at 1901 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. or Room 501 in City Hall at 200 E. Wells St. between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

As of Tuesday morning, the Milwaukee Election Commission said 21,983 absentee ballots have been issued for the spring primary, but 7,623 have not yet been returned.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin primary election review; Milwaukee voting results