Mandela Barnes’ story is a uniquely American story. He was born in Milwaukee, in one of the most impoverished and incarcerated Zip codes in the state. A community starved of resources, but brimming with joy, resilience, and hardworking, brilliant people. His mom was a Milwaukee school teacher for 30 years. His dad worked 3rd shift at the General Motors plant. They were both active union members organizing for better wages and defending workers’ rights. Their example taught Barnes that we can’t settle for what is, we have to reach for what can be. Barnes graduated High School at the age of 16, became a State Representative at 25, and at 32 was elected the first black Lt. Governor in Wisconsin’s history.
As Lt. Governor, Mandela has worked closely with Governor Evers to help Wisconsin recover from the Covid-19 pandemic by energizing Wisconsin’s recovery across urban and rural areas. Mandela has served as Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Climate Change and was the vice-chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. Mandela has spent his career fighting to create opportunities for every person in Wisconsin, regardless of which Zip Code they come from, and looks forward to continuing this fight in the U.S. Senate.