By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Mayor Tom Barrett is officially going to Luxembourg.
The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination to be the ambassador to Luxembourg on Thursday, Dec. 16.
“I feel unbelievably honored to have served this community for nearly 18 years as mayor,” Barrett said during a press conference on Thursday, Dec. 16. “As I often said, I’m not running from something, I’m running to something.”
President Joe Biden nominated Barrett for the position in August. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Barrett went to Washington D.C. recently to answer questions by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In a press conference, Barrett said he had gone for a walk, and after returning home decided to turn on C-Span. Shortly after, he received a text message from Sen. Chuck Schumer’s chief of staff who told him to stay tuned.
Barrett watched as his nomination was approved by unanimous consent.
“It is a tremendous honor, it is a responsibility,” he said. “I am very excited about it. I am very thankful to the president for having the confidence to make this appointment. I am also thankful to Senators Baldwin and Johnson, who were very helpful in getting my nomination through the Senate.”
Biden’s State Department nomination’s approvals are moving at a slow pace, the Journal Sentinel reported. According to the paper, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is making nominees go through quite the process to be approved.
Now that Barrett is officially appointed, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will take his place as acting mayor. Barrett said the timing isn’t official yet, but he plans to transition before the end of the year.
In the meantime, the city will prepare for a special election. It could take place in the upcoming spring election. The winner of that election will finish out the rest of Barrett’s term, which will end in 2024.
Before ending the press conference, Barrett expressed his thanks to the people of Milwaukee for electing him mayor and allowing him to live out his dream.