By Dennis Shook   Published Nov 10, 2006 at 5:23 AM

Many of Tuesday's winners and losers in statewide elections were largely decided by Milwaukee County voters.

So it seems only fair that Milwaukee County will likely benefit from the victories of Gov. Jim Doyle and the new Democratic majority in the state Senate.

A key election in that change of four seats from the Republican to the Democrat side of the aisle was the victory of Wauwatosa Alderman Jim Sullivan over state Sen. Tom Reynolds, R-West Allis. Gov. Jim Doyle also was reelected on the backs of a good showing in the city and county of Milwaukee.

So how will Milwaukee benefit from such changes?

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told after the election results were in that he is optimistic about the changes.

"It changes things a lot because the Democrats in the state Legislature were forced to play defense" when in the minority, said Barrett, a former state legislator.

Barrett said he made it clear to the governor and legislative leaders that Milwaukee has needs.

"I don't want to portray this as 'poor city of Milwaukee,'" Barrett said. "But we have not seen an increase in state shared revenues since 1995. We need those kinds of funds to help with the city's police and libraries, among other things."

The mayor said the Milwaukee Public School System also needs funds, adding that the choice schools in the area receive increased funding.

"We also need more security in our schools," he said.

Barrett said he plans to speak to Doyle and the new majority leaders soon about many city issues but no meeting has yet been set. Barrett did applaud Doyle's efforts in Milwaukee at raising funds for "the city's non-profit organizations," adding "he has been very helpful."

It also appears much less likely that a Taxpayer Bill of Rights will pass the state Legislature any time soon. Such a straight-jacket on raising taxes locally would have likely meant severe cuts to municipal and county services, as energy and insurance costs continue to outpace the two percent to three percent levy limit ceiling TABOR would have installed.

The general direction of the previous Doyle Administration budgets has been in the direction of assisting urban residents, whether it be in health benefits for low income families, heating assistance, or tuition assistance.

Doyle is also a vocal proponent of public schools over Republican-supported school choice programs. So the MPS will not have to fear draconian measures against it, like some measures supported by Republicans like former Gov. Tommy Thompson who even wanted the state to take over MPS at one point.

After the election, Doyle restated his priorities in his second term. Among them were expanding health care to cover all children, developing affordable catastrophic insurance, expanding 4-year-old kindergarten program, and presenting a balanced budget with no tax hikes.

The election of so many Democratic legislators could also have a positive urban impact on redrawing of the legislative districts following the 2010 census.

On the national side, the ascension of U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, D-WI, to the chairmanship of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee with a Democratic majority could also have an impact. Barrett, a former congressional colleague, sees some very positive possibilities.

"I have served with (Obey) and it certainly helps he will be there," Barrett said. "There are a number of places we can work with him. But we haven't sat down to talk about it yet."

Dennis A. Shook is an award-winning reporter who has covered state and national politics for various print, broadcast, and Internet outlets for more than 30 years. He also is employed as an aide to state Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Kenosha.