EXCLUSIVE: Milwaukee Police Union Refuses To Endorse Pro-Cop Mayoral Candidate Bob Donovan
By Mark Belling, WISN-AM
The union of Milwaukee police officers is refusing to endorse the mayoral candidacy of Bob Donovan who has made support of police and fighting of crime the centerpiece of his campaign. The union has instead decided to stay neutral in the race between Donovan and Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson despite Johnson’s support for a city budget that reduced the number of sworn officers in the department.
Donovan was routinely endorsed for election by the MPA in his many runs for the city council, a body on which he served for nearly two decades. The union also endorsed Donovan when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Tom Barrett in 2016. The union for many years has endorsed conservative candidates for public office and has generally supported Republican candidates for governor, one of the very few labor unions in the state to do so. Given that history, the MPA’s abandonment of Donovan in 2022 is stunning.
On the other hand, the union is under new leadership. Former union heads Bradley DeBraska and Mike Crivello both oversaw the union when it was endorsing conservatives in the past. The current head of the union, Andrew Wagner, may be going a different route.
Wagner told me the decision by the union board to remain neutral was unanimous. He said the union wanted to maintain strong relationships with whon=mever is elected mayor. Translation: The union thinks Johnson is going to win and kicked Dovan to the curb.
The union recently clashed with new Police Chief Jeffrey Norman over Norman’s order that officers not display anything containing the phrase “thin blue line.” Donovan defended the cops on that issue. Apparently, Wagner’s union doesn’t believe in supporting its own friends.