Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes is running alongside 11 other Democrats for the Wisconsin Senate seat currently held by Republican Ron Johnson, who has yet to announce a run for reelection.
Barnes is Wisconsin’s first Black lieutenant governor and would be the state’s first Black senator. He entered politics at 25 when he was elected to the State Assembly, before running for lieutenant governor.
Twenty-seven local officials in Madison, the state capital have endorsed Barnes, who built his career as an outspoken advocate for racial justice, a stance that led him to the streets of Kenosha last summer after the killing of Jacob Blake. “So many Wisconsinites — from everyday people to our own governor — have come together in goodwill to pursue meaningful policing reforms… But while most Wisconsinites agree something must change, we have a senator in Ron Johnson who refuses to address these problems,” Barnes shared on Twitter on the one-year anniversary of Blake’s death. “I’ve never been afraid to stand up and speak out about the challenges our communities face and it’s the work I will continue to do in the United States Senate.”