Effort to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett fails; “There seems to be a lack of appetite for change”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

MILWAUKEE — A recall attempt of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has failed.

Al Jansen, the south side man who initiated the long-shot effort, said Tuesday, September 5th that he got “nowhere close” to the necessary number of signatures to force a recall election.

“It became obvious that I overestimated the demand for changing the direction of the political leadership in Milwaukee,” Jansen wrote in a statement he gave to the City of Milwaukee Election Commission and Barrett’s office Tuesday morning. “With the successes of downtown growth, there seems to be a lack of appetite for change.”

Al Jansen

Jansen’s group, “Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can’t Wait,” needed more than 50,000 signatures in a 60-day period to force a recall election. He estimated Tuesday that he got about 10,000 — the same number he said he had after the first 30 days of his effort.

“I accept responsibility for the failure of this recall attempt and apologize to the Mayor for the annoyance it may have caused,” Jansen wrote in his statement.

Barrett won re-election in 2016 to a fourth term, getting 70 percent of the vote against south side Alderman Bob Donovan.

Jansen told FOX6 News on Tuesday that he would shred the signatures he did receive, pledging not to “expose people to the ridicule” of having supported his failed effort against Barrett.

Jansen said he should’ve made signature forms available in more locations around the city. He previously said that the Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters had made the forms available in their union hall.