MILWAUKEE -- The shock of Chris Abele's announcement that he is not running for reelection lasted one night. The focus now -- who is next?
Speculation over who will replace Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele was nearly instant. State Senator Chris Larson was the first to announce on Twitter that he is giving a run "strong consideration." Larson served on the Milwaukee County Board from 2008 until 2010. When Larson won election to the State Senate in 2016, he ran for Milwaukee County Executive and lost to incumbent Chris Abele.
Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy confirmed to FOX6 News he is "more likely than note" going to run. Kennedy was elected mayor in 2015. He is out of the country on a trip -- and plans to make a decision when he returns.
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theo Lipscomb is also mulling over the idea of running.
"Obviously it's a big decision one that you don't make overnight and one that I'm talking to my wife and family about because when you run for an office like that the whole family runs," Lipscomb said.
Lipscomb won election to the Milwaukee County Board as a write-in candidate in 2008 -- and was reelected in 2012. Three years later, Lipscomb was elected County Board chairman -- a position he still holds today.
"We as Americans are ambitious. We want to move up the ladder," said University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor Mordecai Lee.
Lee expects the list of candidates to be long.
"I suspect there will be plenty of people who want to be County Executive. It's good to have the competition. It's good to have the choices," Lee said.
With the election just six months away, Lee expects a bit of a scramble to raise the funds and friends needed to win.
"Tonight, they're making phone calls," Lee said.
Chris Abele did not say who he will support for the April 2020 election. He did tell FOX6 News he does not plan to pursue another public office.