Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is running for U.S. Senate.
Barnes, 34, joins a growing field of Democrats running for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Johnson hasn’t announced yet whether he will seek reelection in 2022.
The lieutenant governor was elected to his current office in 2018, alongside Gov. Tony Evers. He was the first Black lieutenant governor in Wisconsin and the second Black person elected to statewide office. Prior to serving as lieutenant governor, Barnes was a state Assembly lawmaker from 2013-2017. He made a failed bid for state Senate in 2016.
Barnes announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in a tweet:
I’m Mandela Barnes and I’m running to be Wisconsin’s next Senator.
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.
Barnes said, if elected, he would make racial justice and inequality major focuses of his time in office.
Barnes also pledged to push for higher wages, environmental protections, voting protections, health care accessibility and high speed internet access.