Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes will run for United States Senate in 2022, according to an email sent to supporters and a campaign video released online.
He also plans to make an announcement at an event in Milwaukee at noon. Madison365 will stream the event live on its Facebook page.
Barnes, 34, was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 2013 and served until 2017. In 2018 was elected as the first Black lieutenant governor of Wisconsin, and only the second Black person elected to statewide office.
He took on a national profile last year, becoming a strong advocate for police reform and racial justice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. He has also headed up the governor’s task force on climate change.
Incumbent Republican Senator Rob Johnson has not said whether he intends to seek a third term. Barnes is the eighth Democrat to join the race in the primary election, including State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, and Milwaukee Bucks Vice President Alex Lasry.
The parties will choose their nominees in primary elections in August ahead of the November 8, 2022 election.
Wisconsin has never been represented by a Black US Senator.