Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson dominates primary, heads to April 2 runoff

Mayors races in Kenosha and Wausau are also set for spring ballot

Cavalier Johnson smiles as his supporters hold up signs.
Milwaukee acting mayor Cavalier Johnson smiles as he stands before supporters Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, during his election night event in Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson dominated the city’s mayoral primary Tuesday night, winning nearly 87 percent of the vote. 

Johnson will advance to the April election against Wisconsin God Squad founder David King, who took just under 10 percent of the vote. 

Johnson said he was “filled with immense gratitude” at the prospect of being elected to a full term. He was Common Council president when then-Mayor Tom Barrett was appointed ambassador to Luxembourg. Johnson became acting mayor until winning an election to serve the final two years of Barrett’s term in April 2022. 

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“Your support in this primary election reinforces the trust you place in me to lead our beloved city into its next chapter,” Johnson said in a statement. “Let’s keep our spirits high, our focus sharp, and our hearts open as we march on with resilience and optimism.”

Kenosha, Wausau mayoral runoffs set 

Kenosha will elect its third mayor in three decades this spring. District 17 Alder David Bogdala and City Plan Commissioner Lydia Spottswood advanced from the nine candidate primary.

Bogdala was 890 votes ahead, taking more than 39 percent of the vote. Spottswood garnered 31 percent. None of the seven other candidates cracked double digits. 

Mayor John Antaramian is retiring after eight terms and two stints as mayor stretching back to 1992. He first served through 2008, when he stepped down and was replaced by Keith Bosman. After two terms, Bosman retired and Antaramian returned to office in 2016. He’s been there ever since. 

Antaramian didn’t endorse a candidate during the primary but said he plans to ahead of the runoff.

Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg won a majority of the votes cast in that city’s primary, taking 52.7 percent of the vote. Army veteran and former alder Doug Diny took 42.2 percent. 

Rosenberg was first elected mayor in 2020 and previously served two terms on the Marathon County board. A third candidate, 28 year-old Christopher Wood, took 5.2 percent of the vote, or 223 votes. 

All runoff elections will take place April 2.

Related Stories