State Sen. Lena Taylor announces her candidacy for mayor: ‘I am the Milwaukee that I know’

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Lena Taylor, candidate for mayor

MILWAUKEE -- State Senator Lena Taylor on Tuesday, Sept. 3 announced her candidacy for mayor of Milwaukee. She made the announcement near 15th and Capitol Drive -- not far from her childhood home.

Taylor referred right away to a past in Milwaukee that she remembers fondly. She told supporters she wants to restore Milwaukee to the city she grew up in, which she described as a city for all.

"I could play double dutch on the block," said Taylor. "We could play hide and go seek. We could run in the neighbor's yard. We could get apples and pears off the trees -- and we had birthday parties with each other. That's the Milwaukee that I know. That's the Milwaukee that made me. That's the Milwaukee that I demand."

Taylor said she is a child of Milwaukee -- and not unique.

"I am the Milwaukee that I know," said Taylor. "I'm not (Tom ) Barrett's Milwaukee. I am the Milwaukee that allowed me to grow up and have access to opportunity. I think every child should have access to opportunity."

The longtime senator joined Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Alderman Tony Zielinski, Paul Rasky, and Tremell Noble -- all filing paperwork to run against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Candidates for Milwaukee mayor

"We need leadership in an office that is not corrupt, because when you blatantly know that you are the worst, and you specifically do not address it at a pace that does not suggest urgency, I call that a cancer that needs to be eradicated," said Taylor.

Taylor said her passion for people runs deep. She said she's not afraid to stand up or speak out for what she believes in.

Her fiery attitude has come under fire. In 2018, Taylor received a disorderly conduct ticket after arguing with a Milwaukee bank teller. She pleaded no contest and paid a fine. Later that year, a Senate human resources investigation found Taylor bullied her staff. She was removed from the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.

"That's the past," said Taylor "What I'm here to tell you is, we are not going to sit on the sidelines and expect and accept the standard of disparity for people of color, black and brown people especially, in this community, to continue to happen. In my Milwaukee, I'm mayor. You're mayor. We're mayor, because no person can do it."

As of Tuesday, Mayor Barrett had not formally announced he's running for re-election, but was raising money.

Hamilton also had not made a formal announcement as of Tuesday.

FOX6 News reached out to both men, but did not immediately hear back.

CLICK HERE to view the list of 2020 spring election candidates for mayor. The primary will be held Feb. 18, 2020. The general election is set for April 7, 2020.

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