A U.S. Governor refers to the chief executive of each state and is the political and ceremonial head of the state. The governor may also assume additional roles, such as the commander-in-chief of the National Guard when the role is not federalized. The governor may also have the ability to commute or pardon a criminal sentence. A governor serves a four-year term.
Challenging Gov. Scott Walker for his seat are eight Democrats: state Schools Superintendent Tony Evers, former state Democratic Party Chairman Matt Flynn, liberal activist Mike McCabe, Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell, Kenosha lawyer Josh Pade, former state Rep. Kelda Roys, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.
The Lieutenant Governor is the second highest elected official in the state, next to governor, and has a great deal of influence on state policy and the establishment of spending priorities. This position presides over debate in that chamber and oversees the movement of legislation. The Lt. Governor cannot vote or sponsor legislation, but he or she may work with advocates in the Senate to introduce legislation. A Lt. Governor serves a four-year term.
If the Governor is incapacitated or dies, the Lt.Governor exercises the powers of the Governor, serving the remainder of the Governor’s unexpired term.
Current Republican Rebecca Kleefisch remains unchallenged for lieutenant governor in the primary. By contrast, the Democratic primary includes former state Rep. Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee versus Sheboygan native and businessman Kurt Kober. The winning candidate will be paired with the Democratic nominee for governor.
Senators represent their state by writing and voting on new laws, or bills, that may become U.S. law if passed by the Senate, House of Representatives, and signed by the President. Helping people in their state with a federal government issue is also part of the senator’s job. For example, if you are having a problem getting your passport to take a vacation abroad, the senator’s office can aid you in getting it on time for your trip. A senator serve a six-year term.
Five Republicans are on Tuesday’s ballot including Charles Barman, Griffin Jones and George Lucia. However, Delafield businessman and former U.S. Marine Kevin Nicholson and state Sen. Leah Vukmir of Brookfield are the two heavyweights in the contest. The winner will take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.
Congressmen or congresswomen represent their state citizens and introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees. The House of Representatives works to pass bills with the Senate and get them signed by the President. A congressman or congresswoman serves a two-year term.
District 4 – Milwaukee
Former state Sen. Gary George is challenging incumbent Democrat Gwen Moore in a race to see who will represent Milwaukee in the House. The Republican primary is between businesswomen Cindy Werner and Milwaukee resident Tim Rogers.
Most secretaries of state are tasked with keeping state records, form registering businesses to recording the official acts of the governor. The officeholder also often serves as the chief election official who administers state elections and maintains official election results. The commissioning and regulation of notaries public, keeping of the official state seal and certification of official documents all typically fall under the purview of the secretary of state. A secretary of state serves a four-year term.
The treasurer is the official charged with overseeing revenue and finances and generally acting as the state’s chief banker. He or she is responsible for sitting on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, providing services to promote the unclaimed property program, and making certified copies of deeds, bonds and documents filed in the treasurer’s office.
There are three Democrats and two Republicans in the race to become treasurer after incumbent Matt Adamczyk chose to run for representative of the 14th Assembly District.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office is the principal law enforcement agency that serves Milwaukee County. It provides law enforcement services for the county’s road system, freeways in the county, the Milwaukee County Courthouse, the Milwaukee County Jail, the county-owned General Mitchell International Airport and the Milwaukee County Parks system, including much of the Milwaukee lakefront.
Three Democrats are running to replace former Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., who resigned in August 2017.
Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt, a 32-year veteran of the agency, is serving out the remainder of Clarke’s term through the end of this year and is competing for a four-year term against two candidates with law enforcement experience.
It all began with some horses and the need for job transportation.
The River & Lake Shore City Railway Co. opened the first horse-drawn rail along what is currently North Water Street in May 1860. Soon the Milwaukee City Railway Co. jumped into the business, creating a rail system west of the Milwaukee River, while the Cream City Railroad expanded similarly to the East Side in 1874.
With new inventions and the city’s population on the rise, Milwaukee welcomed the first electric streetcar in April 1890.
It began operation along the Wells Street line of the West Side Street Railroad Co. All horse powered tracks transitioned to electric lines by 1894 with newer, larger cars that produced less pollution and allowed for the city to expand away from downtown.
The trolley system became the popular mode of transport to carry people into the city for work. Since only the wealthy owned cars in the 1900s, streetcars were easily accessible. At a nickel a ride, the streetcar system reached 28 million passengers in the first year of operation.
Consolidation into competing companies allowed for the privately owned Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Co. (TMER&L) to emerge as the dominant streetcar network. Each car shone bright in orange and cream, utilizing heavyweight cars to hold maximum passengers as the city continued to expand during WWI.
In full swing around 1920, the streetcars became vital to the economy and people’s daily lives.
In addition to the streetcars, interurban lines (Milwaukee Electric Lines) added similar yet faster transportation. The first line was completed in 1897 and later ran over 200 miles between Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Watertown, East Troy, Burlington, and Racine-Kenosha by the 1930s. It became revered as the third fastest interurban railway in the U.S.
The full interurban rail system lasted until June 30, 1951, save the North Shore Line. Milwaukee’s remaining rails were originally bought by a newly formed Milwaukee Rapid Transit & Speedrail Co. (the Rapid Transit Line). The company had improved the network in speed and comfort for the loyal passengers. However, a few accidents—including the September 2, 1950 collision near National Avenue on the Hales Corners line that killed 10 and injured 45—ended any hope for revival.
Meanwhile, the first motor bus made its appearance in 1926 replacing the Mitchell Street streetcar route in Milwaukee and the North Avenue line presented the first tire trolley bus service in 1936, still running on overhead electric wiring. Furthered by the Great Depression, the trackways curtailed due to increased competition by the new bus services and labor riots in 1934 which had split the TMER&L into two different companies.
Both transportation modes began to replace railed streetcars just as quickly as they sprang up. By 1951, The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Co.’s trackless trolleys had 54 miles of routes while there were just as many buses for 177 miles of routes. Only half as many railed streetcars existed with 59 miles of routes.
Although WWI gas rationing in the 1940s increased streetcar ridership, it was short-lived. Lines were being cut and abandoned. The last streetcar ran its exuberant final route along the Wells Street line on March 2, 1958. Trackless trolleys were also shafted, running their final route along the National Avenue line on June 19, 1965.
Milwaukee’s first streetcar era concluded operations because of competition by diesel bus services, public safety concerns, rising car ownership and loss of public confidence. Ultimately, times were changing and there was not enough cost-benefit to renew rail line infrastructure. Fixing the pavement around the rails and updating the technologies became too expensive. Streetcars were a traffic hindrance with slower speeds, an inability to maneuver and safety risks of loading in the middle of the street, whereas buses and trackless trolleys were safer and more efficient.
Check out this WISN clip of Milwaukee’s original streetcars back in 1958 below: