Barnes to face off against Johnson for U.S. Senate seat

AP declares Mandela Barnes and Ron Johnson as winners, will face off in November
Sen. Ron Johnson (left) and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will face off for U.S. Senate in November.
Sen. Ron Johnson (left) and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will face off for U.S. Senate in November.(WMTV)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Mandela Barnes will face off against U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in the November general election, the Associated Press reports Tuesday night.

Unofficial results project Barnes as moving forward as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. AP also has Johnson as winning the Republican nomination.

“I don’t fit the bill of a normal politician, and it took me a little while to understand that that’s a good thing,” Barnes said in a statement. “Because the way we’ll change Washington is by changing the people we send to Washington. And that work starts today.”

Sen. Johnson released a statement Tuesday night, describing Barnes as the Democratic Party’s “most radical left candidate for the U.S. Senate race.”

“Regardless of how Mandela Barnes and his allies in the mainstream media attempt to paint his views, Wisconsinites should not believe a word they say,” Johnson said. “The Lieutenant Governor will support all the destructive policies of President Biden and his enablers in congress.”

The Barnes campaign revealed earlier Tuesday that a union leader and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin would be speaking after the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, along with Barnes.

“Mandela Barnes has shown an unprecedented ability to unite Wisconsin,” Baldwin said. “In a coalition that includes farmers, labor unions, teachers, small business owners and working people all across the state, he’s been able to do it because he gets us.”

Barnes voted earlier Tuesday at Greentree Preparatory Academy in Milwaukee before connecting with voters at the Wisconsin State Fair. His campaign said the connections are a chance for him to hear what’s important to Wisconsinites.

“He loves talking to voters and really just having those one on one conversations,” said Communications Director Maddy McDaniel. “There is so much that we all have in common with each other, no matter where you’re from, really keep getting a sense of what people are feeling on the ground and what’s important to people in Wisconsin.”

At 35, Barnes is nearly half the age of the average U.S. senator, and would join a small group of Black senators — and be the first from Wisconsin — if he wins election to the chamber.

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