Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes Announces Candidacy, Looking To Become First Black Senator In Wisconsin

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images for VIBE)

Jesse Stiller Contributor
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Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in 2022, seeking to become the state’s first black senator in its history.

Barnes announced his candidacy for the Senate via Twitter Tuesday morning in a two-minute clip, apparently forgoing a chance to run for a second time as Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ running mate, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

In the announcement video posted to Twitter, Barnes is seen waking up at six o’clock in the morning, putting on his running shoes while preparing to go out for a run.

“Excuses are nothing but a dead end,” Barnes says in the dubbed-over video. “And expectations are something to be shattered.”

As he runs, a list of his accomplishments is shown on screen, including his election to state representative and lieutenant governor, adding that “we have to reach for what we can be” and push hard “every single step of the way.”

Barnes can also be seen meeting members of the community, including participating in a church service and visiting a farm and brewery in the state, before the video cuts to him addressing a small crowd. (RELATED: Thiel Capital COO Blake Masters Announces Run For Arizona Senate)

“The system isn’t working,” Barnes tells the crowd. “So many people who are working, longer hours and harder for much less,” adding that the citizens need “to change the game.”

Barnes then talks about the state of health care, climate change, protecting voting rights of citizens while also talking about the ‘social justice’ accomplishments of the state during its history.

“When you stay focused on why you’re running, nothing can slow you down,” Barnes says before declaring his candidacy.

Barnes’s announcement marks the seventh candidate to declare in the Democratic primary against incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, according to The AP.

Johnson has not officially declared his candidacy for 2022, The AP reported, but in April was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who told the senator to “Run, Ron, Run!”