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Lena Taylor running for Lt. Gov.

State Sen. Lena Taylor (Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Watch)

State Senator Lena Taylor of Milwaukee announced in a press conference Monday that she will run for Lieutenant Governor in the 2022 election.

If elected, she would replace current Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running for US Senate. She would also become the first woman of color to hold the office.

Taylor, 55, was elected to the State Assembly in 2003 and then to the State Senate in 2005. She ran unsuccessfully for Milwaukee County Executive in 2008 and mayor in 2020. She was widely seen as a potential candidate to run in the upcoming special election for mayor, whenever the US Senate confirms current mayor Tom Barrett’s appointment as the US Ambassador to Luxembourg.

She defeated Barnes in a primary election for State Senate in 2012.

Taylor is the first Democrat to enter the race to succeed Barnes. Three Republicans have announced they’re running for Lt. Governor: State Sen. Patrick Testin, Lancaster Mayor David Varnam and Ben Voelkel, a former aide to Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

The winner of the Aug. 9 primaries for Lt. Governor will be paired with whoever wins the primaries for governor to form the two parties’ tickets. Governor Tony Evers has already said he will seek a second term.