MILWAUKEE -- Little-known political newcomer Edward McDonald was Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's challenger in Tuesday's Milwaukee mayoral race. Barrett has served as Milwaukee's mayor for the past nine years, but on Friday, March 30th, Barrett announced he will run in the recently ordered gubernatorial recall election. Barrett declared victory in the race Tuesday night.
McDonald's supporters gathered Tuesday at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee. McDonald listened to a choir from Repairers of the Breach Homeless Shelter, and said the homeless and poverty is one reason he decided to run for mayor.
McDonald said Barrett is more interested in being governor than mayor.
McDonald has more than 20 years of experience as a public administrator - working for a number of non-profit organizations. He is currently on the UW Extension faculty.
McDonald ran a grassroots campaign, knocking on doors across the city of Milwaukee. He said his focus as mayor would have included job creation, healing the race and wealth divide and expanding police and fire operations. "We've taken this one day at a time, one door at a time, one block at a time, and we'll sit back and see what happens (Tuesday) night. We're scheduled to meet tomorrow and evaluate everything and look forward," McDonald said.
FOX6 News caught up with McDonald after he cast his ballot Tuesday. He says voters want a leader committed to Milwaukee. "Tom Barrett has indicated to the city of Milwaukee that he wants to be governor, and we congratulate him on pursuing his personal dream. It has been my dream for the last 40 years to be mayor, and I'm at the door to accomplish a deeply personal, spiritual dream," McDonald said.
McDonald hasn't run for office since 1988, when he ran for a Milwaukee aldermanic position. He said he has gained a lot of experience since then, and is now better prepared for political office.