|45th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin|
|Assumed office |
January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Rebecca Kleefisch|
|Member of the
Wisconsin State Assembly|
from the 11th district
January 7, 2013 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Jason Fields|
|Succeeded by||Jason Fields|
|Born||December 1, 1986|
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Education||Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University ( BA)|
Mandela Barnes (born December 1, 1986) is an American politician serving as the 45th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin since 2019.  He is the first African American Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin history.   A member of the Democratic Party, Barnes is a former state representative.
Barnes was born in Milwaukee on December 1, 1986,  the son of a public school teacher and a United Auto Workers member. He attended Milwaukee Public Schools, including John Marshall High School; and graduated from Alabama A & M University. He worked for various political campaigns and in the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, eventually becoming an organizer for M.I.C.A.H., a Milwaukee-based interfaith coalition that advocates social justice.  Barnes is currently the Deputy Director of Strategic Engagement for State Innovation Exchange, a national progressive public policy organization based in Madison.
Barnes is active in a number of organizations serving the greater Milwaukee Area including: the Newaukee Advisory Board, Social X Advisory Board, past Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, Board Member for Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Advisory Board Member for the New Leaders Council, Community Advisory Board Member for the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, NAACP, and the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals. Barnes also serves as the 2nd Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
In April 2012, Barnes announced his candidacy for Wisconsin State Assembly District 11, representing the north side of Milwaukee and a small part of Wauwatosa, challenging incumbent Jason Fields in the Democratic Party primary election.  Barnes' campaign made major issues of Fields' support for the school voucher program, and Fields’ opposition to limiting interest rates charged by payday loan companies, whose charges can exceed a 500% annual percentage rate.   His win was seen as a loss for the pro-voucher American Federation for Children, which pumped over $100,000 into primaries in greater Milwaukee to support candidates, none of whom won. 
Barnes defeated Fields in the August 2012 primary, winning the Democratic Party nomination with 2,596 votes to Fields' 1,206.  In the November general election, Barnes was considered the presumptive winner, since no opposition candidate filed against him.  He received 16,403 votes to 201 scattered votes for others. 
Barnes was reelected to his seat in 2014 without facing either a primary or general election challenge. 
Barnes served on the Assembly Committees on Corrections, Education, Jobs & the Economy, and Small Business Development. He also served as the chairman of the Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus and helped lead a number of international delegations to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. 
Barnes authored numerous pieces of legislation during his time in office, including reforms to the parental choice program, juvenile justice reforms, a new grant program for community prosecutors, extending out-of-home care for youth in the foster system, early release reforms, ending the use of solitary confinement in prisons, expanding victim and witness advocacy services, establishing a community schools grant program, investigation of juvenile corrections programs and facilities, expanding eligibility for the earned income tax credit, providing tuition-free enrollment for technical college students, creating an Office of Civil Service, allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote, decriminalization of marijuana, and comprehensive gun control legislation. 
In 2015, protester and videographer Miles Kristan recorded video of himself asking Assemblyman Barnes in public "if Wisconsin taxpayers should pay for a Bucks arena," regarding Barnes' vote to fund a Bucks arena. After the encounter, Barnes confronted Kristan and seemingly pushed him. Barnes said he pushed Krisitan's camera away, but did not assault Kristian.  In 2017, Wisconsin Republican Party spokesperson Alec Zimmerman resurfaced the allegations, criticizing Barnes for "attacking a man." Barnes accused Zimmerman of libeling him and characterizing him as a "scary black man."   
On April 11, 2016, Barnes announced that he would vacate his Assembly seat to launch a primary challenge against Lena Taylor, the Democratic incumbent in Wisconsin State Senate District 4. Some political observers, such as professor and former State Senator Mordecai Lee, expressed surprise at Barnes' announcement, noting both the rarity of Democratic Senate primaries and the 90 percent reelection rate for incumbents in Wisconsin.  Some also framed the race as reflective of the broader struggle in the Democratic Party, pitting a young progressive challenger against an older, more centrist incumbent. 
Barnes lost to Taylor by a wide margin in the August 9 election, winning only 7,433 votes to Taylor's 11,454. 
In January 2018, Barnes announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin in the 2018 election.  Barnes was endorsed by U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan, State Senators Tim Carpenter, Jon Erpenbach, La Tonya Johnson, Chris Larson, and Bob Wirch, as well as over 23 Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Assembly - including former Gubernatorial Candidate Dana Wachs. Barnes was also endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers Local 212, Communications Workers of America, Democracy for America, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin (PPAWI), International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Auto Workers WI State CAP Council, and the Wisconsin Working Families Party.  
In June 2018, Barnes won the Democratic Party of Wisconsin straw poll with 80.9% of the vote, earning 617 out of 763 total votes.  During his primary race, Barnes' name was omitted from three newspaper election notices in different counties. The day before the primary election, his picture was used in a local news report about a fatal motorcycle crash. 
On August 14, 2018, he won the Democratic primary in a landslide and became the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tony Evers. Evers and Barnes went on to win the November 2018 election, defeating the incumbent Republican ticket of Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. 
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- "2018 Wisconsin Midterm Election Results". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin