Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes announces bid for U.S. Senate

July 22, 2021

Photos by Morgan A. Conyers

On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes announced his official bid to run for the U.S. Senate at the Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W Fond Du Lac Ave. Lt. Gov. Barnes will be running for Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s seat. He’s vying to become the first African American from Wisconsin to serve in the Senate. Barnes, 34, is the first Black lieutenant governor in Wisconsin history. He is giving up a chance to run for a second term in 2022 as Gov. Tony Evers’ running mate. Instead, Barnes becomes the seventh Democrat to enter the race, with an eighth expected to get in soon.

“I’m running for the United States Senate because when things get tough, we shouldn’t lower our expectations,” Barnes said in a statement. “Instead of changing our dreams, we need to change the game. Hard-working Wisconsin families deserve every opportunity, but politicians like Senator Ron Johnson aren’t delivering.”

Johnson has not said yet whether he will seek a third term, but through June he had raised more money than any of the Democratic candidates at that point.

Barnes for years has said the Democratic Party must do a better job connecting with young people and people of color.

Barnes was joined at the Sherman Phoenix for his official announcement by his family.