'An evaluation process:' Hamilton makes 1st public appearance since filing paperwork for mayoral run

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Common Council president Ashanti Hamilton made his first public appearance on Thursday, Nov. 29 since confirming he has filed paperwork to run for mayor in 2020.

The 1st District alderman filed the paperwork on Monday, but has not actually committed to running yet. He spoke to FOX6 News about the process while attending Marquette University's inaugural Leadership and Brotherhood Summit for Young Men of Color Thursday afternoon.

"It's been a thought, but I've been really focused on serving the 1st District of the City of Milwaukee, being the Common Council president," Hamilton said. "I think there's a lot of work that's still in front of me, so I'm focusing in on that, but this is an evaluation process and I want people to know that's under consideration by me and my team."

By filing paperwork, Hamilton will now be allowed to raise more money than he currently can as an aldermanic candidate. The city's candidate contribution limits cap 1st District candidates at $770 for individual, candidate committee and political action committee (PAC) contributions. Candidates for city-wide offices are capped at $6,000 for individual and candidate committee contributions and $5,000 for PAC contributions.

The latest finance records, dated July 2018, show Hamilton's cash balance at $54,871.76. By comparison, Alderman Tony Zielinski, who filed paperwork to run for mayor in November 2017, had a cash balance of $358,917.77 at the end of the same period. Mayor Tom Barrett's cash balance was $640,119.13.

Only Zielinski has committed to the 2020 race. Barrett has not said if he plans to run for a fifth term.

The primary is scheduled for February 2020.