Mandela Barnes won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin on Aug. 9 and will face incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the general election.
Leading up to the primary, Barnes, along with state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, and former state Rep. Tom Nelson, led in media attention. Between July 25 and July 29, 2022, Godlewski, Lasry, and Nelson withdrew from the race and endorsed Barnes. Since ballots were printed before the withdrawals, their names still appeared on Democratic primary ballots.
Kou Lee, Steven Olikara, Peter Peckarsky, and Darrell Williams also ran.
Wisconsin is one of two states holding a U.S. Senate election this year that President Joe Biden carried in 2020 in which the incumbent is a Republican. It is also one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican Senator as of the 2022 U.S. Senate elections.
Barnes was elected lieutenant governor in 2018 and served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 2013 to 2017. According to Isaac Yu of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Barnes entered the Senate race as the most well-known candidate” and “is running on issues that range from rebuilding the middle class to bringing manufacturing back to Wisconsin to supporting family farms.” He received endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.).