Local politician David King runs for Milwaukee Mayor

Republican+candidate+David+King+is+one+of+the+candidates+vying+for+the+opportunity+to+run+against+Tom+Barrett%2C+the+incumbent+in+an+seven-person+race.%C2%A0%0A%0APhoto+courtesy+of+David+King

Republican candidate David King is one of the candidates vying for the opportunity to run against Tom Barrett, the incumbent in an seven-person race.  Photo courtesy of David King

Republican David King is one of the candidates vying for the opportunity to run against incumbent Tom Barrett in a seven-person mayoral race. 

King declared his candidacy Sept. 17, 2019 and currently has over 1,500 signatures. 

Ballotpedia, a digital encyclopedia of politics, describes King’s political history, which dates back to 2008. The website lists the positions King has sought and held in the past, which began with the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2008. 

In 2010, he ran for election to the office of Wisconsin Secretary of State, which he narrowly lost to incumbent Douglas La Follette with 48% of the vote. In 2012, King was an independent candidate for District 4 of the Wisconsin State Senate. King lost in the 2014 primary in which he sought to represent the 4th Congressional District of Wisconsin.

King’s most recent political campaign prior to his current 2020 campaign for mayor was in 2016. He ran as a nonpartisan candidate for District 9 of the Milwaukee City Council in Wisconsin, but lost in the primary election to Chantia Lewis.  

Ballotpedia also highlights how, besides being a politician, King was a neighborhood security aid and manager of restaurants. After holding these positions in Milwaukee, he moved to Georgia where he helped institute a youth group for a local ministry center.

King returned to Milwaukee in 1996, where he established a prison ministry with the goal of rehabilitating prison inmates. From 1997 to 1999, King managed a transitional living facility focusing on single mothers. This was known as The Lord House of Rest. The purpose of the facility was to encourage single mothers to become spiritually strong and to gain and maintain social-economic independence.

In 2001, he created the Soldiers, Walking, Evangelizing and Empowering People Community Justice Center, which aimed to help individuals find employment and secured housing.  

King’s campaign slogan, “Meet Me in the Middle,” holds a lot of significance, as it alludes to Milwaukee’s history as a deeply segregated city. King said he came up with and chose the slogan as he wants to bring the community together for the greater good.

He said he was inspired to run for mayor because he believes the city is not reaching its potential under current administration.

“We needed a change of leadership. It can be a greater, safer, more prosperous city with new leadership,” he said. “For the last 16 years, the same politicians have held positions like this and the city has continued to decline. The city is ready for someone fresh.” 

King also reflected on the struggles he has encountered during the process thus far of running for mayor.

The candidate said he “has encountered struggles during the process of running for mayor, including falling sick for eight days with a virus and struggling to gain enough signatures necessary to continue his campaign for mayor.”

Some of the goals King said he is prioritizing during his campaign include bringing businesses from all over Wisconsin into the city and helping them grow, increasing safety and improving education. 

While King has not begun focusing on fundraising yet, he said he plans to in the near future. Currently, his campaign is focusing on making sure he is on the ballot.

King said he plans to do numerous fundraisers in the coming months, aiming to bring the community together. He said the fundraisers will be held at a variety of places, from restaurants to dance halls.  

Sam H., a member of King’s campaign that King recommended calling for additional information, was unavailable for an interview. 

This article is part of a Marquette Wire series featuring the candidates for Milwaukee’s 2020 mayoral election.

This story was written by Nick Magrone. He can be reached at nicholas.magrone@marquette.edu.