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WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action congratulated progressive grassroots champion Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on winning the Wisc. Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.  People’s Action and its Wisconsin affiliate, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, cited Barnes as one of the best chances progressives had to elect one of their champions in Republican-held turf in 2022. 

“Lt. Gov. Barnes is one of us,” People’s Action Director of Movement Politics Brooke Adams said. “He’s taking on a corporate lapdog who has been described as what you get when ‘QAnon and the Tea Party have a baby.’ Well, Mandela is the son of a UAW worker and a teacher. He’s built a powerful coalition of everyday people from all races and backgrounds. This November, we’re going to take this Senate seat back for the people.” 

Adams pointed to Barnes’ strong positions on jobs, labor, and climate issues, as well as support from groups like People’s Action and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, as the foundation for Barnes’ win. Barnes was a founding member of Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Southeastern Wisconsin chapter and a CAW board member. Barnes would be the third member of CAW in the federal legislature if elected, joining U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.

“Barnes is in the best position possible heading into the general election,” Adams added. “Political analysts have noted that the key to a Democratic win in Wisconsin is to drive turnout in urban areas and build new power in rural areas. Having earned the endorsement of Citizen Action of Wisconsin and People’s Action–who have focused on building power in communities of every size in the state–sets him up with exactly the kind of support he’ll need to win.” 

About Mandela Barnes

Mandela Barnes grew up in a proud union family in one of the poorest ZIP codes in Wisconsin. He’s a proven elected official, having served as lieutenant governor since 2018–the first Black lieutenant governor in Wisconsin’s history and the second Black statewide elected official. He serves as the chair of Gov. Tony Evers’ climate change task force. He also serves on the Governor’s Health Equity Council, Wisconsin Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Wisconsin Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy and Capability, and the statewide 2020 Census Complete Count Committee.

Barnes is fighting for “jobs we can support a family on, education we can build a future on, and health care that protects our health, not the wealth of corporations.” He’s standing up for family farmers who are under pressure from corporate ag and for manufacturing workers whose jobs are being exported overseas by hedge funds and big corporations. He’ll work for everyday people of every race and background in the U.S. Senate. 

People’s Action’s Movement Politics program recruits, runs, and elects progressives into local and statewide offices across the country. Since 2016, People’s Action has helped elect over 380 movement politics candidates. The program focuses on electing women, people of color, and low-income people who are grounded in progressive movement building with our member organizations.

Contact: Derrick Crowe, 512.516.5067,

People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 38 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 28 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.”

Press Contact
Derrick Crowe

(512) 516-5067

About People’s Action

People’s Action is a national network of 38 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. Prior to endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, we completed a national forum series that The Nation called “the most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.”