We now know which Milwaukee seats will see primaries in February. What to know.

Primaries will be held in four local races in Milwaukee on Feb. 20, with the mayoral race being the only citywide seat.

The other three will be in Common Council districts, two of which will not have an incumbent on the ballot.

The primaries will decide which two candidates will move forward to the April 2 spring election, where those seats in addition to races for city attorney, city comptroller, city treasurer and the remaining council seats will also be on the ballot.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson facing two primary challengers

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson speaks at a press conference.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson speaks at a press conference.

Incumbent Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson is facing challenges from Wisconsin God Squad founder David King and Ieshuh Griffin, who is also running for other seats at the city and county.

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.

In the spring election, he is seeking a full four-year term in the Mayor's Office.

Both King and Griffin have previously run for office at various levels of government.

King 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 is running under the slogan, "The Poor People's Piece of the Pie Campaign," has long run in various local and state elections.

She ran for mayor in 2022 against Johnson and five others and later that year filed to run for two vacant aldermanic seats before the city's Election Commission determined she had not submitted enough valid signatures from voters in either district to appear on the ballot.

Her 2010 run for state Assembly made headlines for her effort to use the slogan “NOT the whiteman’s bitch."

Ieshuh Griffin
Ieshuh Griffin

She is also running this spring for Milwaukee County executive and in Milwaukee Aldermanic District 3 against Ald. Jonathan Brostoff.

Griffin had sought to run for Aldermanic District 15, but the city Election Commission sustained a challenge from the district's alderman, Russell Stamper II. Stamper in his challenge argued that Griffin had not submitted enough signatures from residents to be placed on the ballot, saying entries should not be counted because they were illegible or incomplete, included addresses that do not exist or addresses of vacant lots.

In her response, Griffin called Stamper a "liar."

Two challenging incumbent for Milwaukee Aldermanic District 5

Ald. Lamont Westmoreland is facing two challengers in his first race since he was elected last year.

He is facing challenges from real estate agent Stacy A. Smiter and Bruce Winter, who also sought the seat in the last election.

District 5 is located on the city's northwest side.

Four vie for open Milwaukee Aldermanic District 7 seat

Four candidates will appear on the primary ballot for Aldermanic District 7, the north side district for which Ald. Khalif Rainey is not seeking re-election.

They are:

  • Jessica Currie, a community organizer and founder of the nonprofit Missionary Currie for Women and Children.

  • Kenneth Hughes, who describes himself as a pastor and businessman.

  • DiAndre Jackson, a longtime Master Lock employee and active United Auto Workers member.

  • Randy Jones, founder of the nonprofit Staying On Track Inc.

Three-way race in Milwaukee Aldermanic District 11

Three candidates will be on the ballot to replace outgoing Ald. Mark Borkowski, who is not seeking re-election.

Appearing on the ballot will be:

  • Peter Burgelis, a Milwaukee County supervisor who is not seeking re-election to the County Board.

  • Lee Whiting, a member of the city's Safety and Civic Commission.

  • Josh Zepnick, a former state representative who unsuccessfully ran for County Board in 2022.

Zepnick will appear on the ballot after the city Election Commission rejected a challenge in which Burgelis alleged that Zepnick used a home address on his nomination papers that does not reflect his actual residence.

Election Commission staff wrote in an analysis that Burgelis did not provide any clear and convincing evidence that supported his allegations and seemed to undercut his own argument when he claimed to see Zepnick leaving the address where he alleged Zepnick does not live.

"Burgelis purports that Zepnick does not live at 4702B W Cleveland Avenue," staff wrote. "However, in his own statement, he has seen Zepnick in front of the apartment carrying mail in the early morning hours. Staff believe this assertion supports that Zepnick does actually reside at the Cleveland address and is receiving mail at that address."

District 11 is on the city's southwest side.

Alison Dirr can be reached at adirr@jrn.com.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: What to know about the four Milwaukee races with February primaries