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HomeBreakingCity of Waukesha to Review Handling of Parade Rules After Hovde Incident,...

City of Waukesha to Review Handling of Parade Rules After Hovde Incident, Mayor Says


Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly tells Wisconsin Right Now that the city of Waukesha will review how it enforces its parade rules after Republican Eric Hovde was barred from walking in the city’s 4th of July parade because he’s a non-incumbent candidate, while a Democrat running for Congress was allowed in.

“The City will be reviewing the parade policies and procedures before the next application process and will review how the rules are enforced on the parade day,” Reilly said.

Reilly said parade rules ban people running for office. But he admitted that the rules were not abided by.

“However, we understand that at the parade, some political signs were held up and some campaigning may have been taking place. These activities were not noted on the application for the parade units and were not noticed before the parade began,” he said.

Check out for yourself. Here’s the Democrat Party contingent, including Democrat candidate Ben Steinhoff, who is running against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald.

Waukesha parade

We previously exclusively reported that Hovde was also given the same rationale at the scene – that he wasn’t an incumbent, so he couldn’t walk – when he and his team were banned from being in the parade. He was also told that no one with his campaign shirts could walk, the sources said. Sources told us Hovde had to walk down the sidewalk to campaign. He was allowed in other cities’ parades.

However, the parade’s live stream video and social media posts clearly show that Democrat candidate Ben Steinhoff was allowed to walk in the parade. Steinhoff and several others were wearing campaign T-shirts. Democrats also lugged a massive Biden sign in the parade. We also spotted a Tammy Baldwin campaign sign and a sign for a Democrat who was running against Republican Julian Bradley.

One woman was carrying a Hovde sign in the small GOP contingent in the parade, and there was a sign on a car, but no candidate.

City of waukesha

“The City of Waukesha held its annual Independence Day Parade on Thursday, July 4. The parade consisted of over 70 units with hundreds of participants,” Reilly told WRN.

“To participate in the parade, units are required to submit an application by a designated deadline. The application includes the Independence Day Parade Participation Policy & Procedures which state, ‘no political and/or campaign signs will be allowed. Individuals running for office may not take part in the parade as candidates or hand out campaign materials. Elected officials may take part in the parade,'” he added.

“The intent behind these policies is to keep the Parade a celebration of the Nation’s independence, and for it not to be a political campaign event. The policies are not intended to favor any political party or candidate,” he said.

Reilly added, “We strive for the Independence Day Parade to be a celebration of our Nation’s independence that brings families and the community together and that will continue to be our primary focus.”

Jessica McBride
Jessica's opinions on this website and all WRN and personal social media pages, including Facebook and X, represent her own opinions and not those of the institution where she works. Jessica McBride, a Wisconsin Right Now contributor, is a national award-winning journalist and journalism educator with more than 25 years in journalism. Jessica McBride’s journalism career started at the Waukesha Freeman newspaper in 1993, covering City Hall. She was an investigative, crime, and general assignment reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a decade. Since 2004, she has taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work has appeared in many news outlets, including (where she is a contributor reaching millions of readers per month),, WTMJ, WISN, WUWM,,, Milwaukee Magazine, Nightline, El Conquistador Latino Newspaper, Japanese and German television, Channel 58, Reader’s Digest, Twist (magazine), Wisconsin Public Radio, BBC, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and others. 

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