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Meet the Candidates for Mayor of Wauwatosa

Candidates share why they are running and the top issues they want to pursue
Post Date:02/19/2020 4:34 PM

We want to provide information for residents to be informed about the upcoming election and the candidates. We asked the mayoral candidates to respond to a set of questions. Their responses are below.

The two candidates for Mayor will be on the spring election ballot on April 7, 2020. Learn more about voter registration and early voting. There will also be alderperson races on the ballot on April 7, 2020.

Candidates for Mayor

Dennis McBride

Contact information: (414) 391-1140 and

Occupation, work history, volunteer positions:

  • Attorney (retired):  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Boston and Milwaukee law firms, and Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Terence Evans
  • 4th District Alderman, City of Wauwatosa, 2008-2018; President of Common Council, 2012-2016
  • Chairman, City of Wauwatosa Civil Service Commission, 1995-1998 and 2004-2006; Member, 1992-2008
  • Member, City of Wauwatosa Historic Preservation Commission, 2008-2018
  • Co-Founder and Member, Board of Directors, Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool, Inc., 2007-present
  • Co-Founder and Vice President, Support Our Schools (SOS) Wauwatosa, 2015-present
  • Co-Founder and President, Pasadena Neighborhood Association, Wauwatosa, 1995-1996

Why are you running for Mayor?

Wauwatosa means a lot to me.  I was raised and educated here.  I owe much to my hometown.
I grew up in a large family and we didn’t have much.  But my parents believed in education and hard work, and instilled that in us.  Wauwatosa was good to us: we had great schools, beautiful neighborhoods and parks, and good neighbors.  We still do today.
My parents also taught us that we must give back, so I've dedicated my life to serving Wauwatosa and the broader community. 

I’ve worked in both the private and public sectors – I’ve served at all levels of government and I’m the only mayoral candidate with substantial private sector experience – and I know how to make government work effectively for everyone.  I want to continue to serve the community that has given me so much.

We've accomplished a lot over the last 12 years and we need strong leadership to keep moving forward.

What issues would you like to pursue if elected?

My priorities are preserving our neighborhoods and parks, maintaining the City’s financial strength, investing in infrastructure, returning local control to cities, and ensuring that Wauwatosa is a welcoming community.

I served on the Historic Preservation Commission, knowing homes, schools, and parks are the heart of our community.  My application essay for my Princeton master’s degree described the physical, emotional, and economic benefits that parks provide. I’m a Sierra Club member and always supported protecting the County Grounds.

But the State doesn’t allow tax levies to rise with inflation. Cities can only raise more revenue by referendum or redevelopment. Not long ago, North Avenue and the Village were dead and the City hadn’t invested in roads and sewers for years.  Redevelopment paid for updates, but balance is needed. As an alderman I supported smart projects and opposed plans that might harm neighborhoods or City finances.

As a lawyer and civic leader I’ve helped Wauwatosa welcome all people to live and do business here. As Mayor, I will promote understanding between different groups as the City evolves.

Nancy Welch

Contact information: (414) 777-0362 and

Occupation, work history, volunteer positions:

  • Community Development Director for cities of Wauwatosa and Auburn, WA
  • Senior Planner for cities of Des Moines, IA and West Allis, WI
  • County Grounds Coalition
  • Wauwatosa Historical Society
  • Wisconsin Humane Society
  • Milwaukee Riverkeeper
  • American Planning Association – WI Chapter

Why are you running for Mayor?

Over 20 years ago my husband and I decided to buy a home in Wauwatosa because we appreciated the neighborhoods, parks, and schools that make this such a unique and wonderful community. I have over 30 years of development and planning experience with multiple cities and understand the challenges facing them as well as innovative ways to respond. There are many great things happening in Wauwatosa and I want to use my professional background and experience to ensure that we make the best decisions for the future.

What issues would you like to pursue if elected?

My past four years on the Common Council have increased my knowledge of the impacts of increasing debt on Tosa taxpayers and the fact that we are using the wrong priorities for spending - tourism instead of police and fire, building roundabouts instead of repairing roads, and funding special projects instead of crossing guards. On the State level, we need to look at legislative changes like modifications to levy limits and dark store legislation. I understand the challenges and will work to ensure a strong future for Wauwatosa.

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