Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barnes announces U.S. Senate run

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:20 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes is running for U.S. Senate.

The Democrat made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter.

“Hard-working families deserve every opportunity, but politicians like Senator Ron Johnson aren’t delivering. Instead of changing our dreams, we need to change the game. Join us,” reads Barnes’ announcement.

Barnes joins a large field of Democrats seeking the seat held by Republican Ron Johnson. Johnson has not yet announced if he’s running for reelection in 2022.

Johnson has raised more money in the last three months than the Democratic field. Johnson’s latest campaign finance filings show he raised $1.2 million between April and June and had $1.7 million cash on hand.

Barnes was elected to office in 2018 with Gov. Tony Evers.

“Mandela Barnes is a good friend and has been a great partner working to address challenges facing our state, and I’ve always said I would support any decision Mandela made about how best to serve the people of Wisconsin,” said Evers.

“At the end of the day, Wisconsin deserves better than someone like Ron Johnson, who’s chosen to embrace reckless conspiracies that have risked public health and jeopardized our state’s economic recovery. We’re lucky to have strong Democratic candidates who are running to send him packing, and I look forward to supporting Wisconsin Democrats’ choice to take on Ron Johnson in 2022.”

The Wisconsin GOP’s communication director addressed Barnes’s candidacy with a brief statement: “Whether it’s lying about his college degree, his temper tantrums when being asked to explain his unpaid taxes, or his delinquent fines, ‘Make-it-up Mandela’ Barnes has neither the maturity nor the temperament to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate.”

Other Democrats who have announced candidacy:

  • Gillian Battino
  • Sarah Godlewski
  • Chris Larson
  • Alex Lasry
  • Adam Murphy
  • Tom Nelson
  • Peter Peckarsky

A primary election will narrow the field on August 9, 2022. The general election is November 8, 2022.

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