Two Dem candidates for the Milwaukee-area 17th Assembly District largely agree on the issues. Both supported Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed police reforms and state financial assistance to Milwaukee, especially for replacing lead water pipes.
Michael Brox, Chris Walton, Supreme Moore Omokunde, and Republican candidate Avrohom Eisenbach are running to replace Democrat David Crowley, who was elected Milwaukee County executive in February. Crowley will not be endorsing in the race, per a representative from his office. Omokunde, a Milwaukee County supervisor and son of Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, did not respond to three interview requests from WisPolitics.com.
Eisenbach, the only Republican candidate in the heavily Dem district, declined to be interviewed by WisPolitics.com. According to his campaign’s Facebook page, Eisenbach is running to bring after-school programs, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs back to the 17th district.
Brox, 65, is a retired teacher and former deputy field director for Moore, D-Milwaukee. He’s previously run for alderman and county supervisor. His experience assisting voters in the April primary, which he deemed “a total fiasco,” inspired him to run for the Assembly, especially one encounter he had with a woman who came to vote using a walker.
“I helped her over to the tent so she could vote, and she whispered something in my ear,” Brox said. “She said, “You know, Mr. Brox, I just had to vote.” She’s African American, and that touched me. And this reinvigorated me, it reminded me why I do what I do.”
Walton, 31 and the current chair of the Milwaukee County Democrats, got into the race to advocate for improvements to healthcare, economic development, and infrastructure in the 17th district.
He said Milwaukee contributes disproportionately to the state budget, but gets little back.
“Without Milwaukee, there is no Wisconsin — you take Milwaukee out of Wisconsin and you get Iowa.”
Both Brox and Walton enthusiastically supported changes to police policies in Wisconsin. Brox called for community involvement in police hiring to promote accountability.
Brox also said he’d support redirecting funds from police departments to other public programs, adding that “more policing doesn’t necessarily mean better policing.”
Walton agreed, calling for the repeal of Act 10, barring Wisconsin police from accepting military hardware and eliminating qualified immunity for police officers.
Listen to the interviews:
By Caroline Kubzansky for WisPolitics.com.