Jeramey Jannene

Chantia Lewis Enters U.S. Senate Race

Milwaukee alderwoman is ninth candidate in the race to replace Ron Johnson.

By - Jul 21st, 2021 02:19 pm
Chantia Lewis speaks at a 2019 press conference on tiny homes for veterans. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Chantia Lewis speaks at a 2019 press conference on tiny homes for veterans. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

And then there were nine.

Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis is officially entering the 2022 Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Ron Johnson. Her long-rumored announcement comes one day after Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, a long expected candidate, formally announced his bid.

“As a local elected official, I’ve seen firsthand how decisions at the federal level impact us in Milwaukee and throughout the state,” said Lewis in a statement. “I understand the need to have a voice in Congress that speaks for regular people who are not being represented by Ron Johnson right now. I’m running on behalf of every working class person in Wisconsin, every parent raising their children through a pandemic and every veteran who is struggling. There’s a whole lot of people who are feeling a whole lot of hurt, and I am in this race for them.”

A website for Lewis’ campaign,, was briefly live last week but included no photos of the alderwoman and a verbatim copy of her Common Council biography. It was pulled down shortly after reports of its existence began circulating.

On Wednesday Lewis launched a full-fledged website, complete with new biography touting her commitment to service and a video of her walking around Downtown and the Sherman Phoenix. She brands herself “a mom, a vet, a fighter” in the video.

Lewis, 41, was first elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 2016 and re-elected in 2020. An Air Force veteran, Alverno College graduate and ordained minister, Lewis has branded the far northwest side 9th District she represents the “New Ninth” as she seeks to reinvigorate the commercial area around the former Northridge Mall. A fiery speaker, she has passionately advocated for many issues including an unarmed responders program, universal basic income pilot program, city office of veterans affairs and emergency housing.

She finds herself in a crowded field. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson was the first to formally declare, followed by Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, radiologist Gillian Battino and Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry. They’ve since been joined by State Senator Chris Larson, Milwaukee attorney Peter Peckarsky and Franklin software entrepreneur Adam Murphy. Barnes declared Tuesday in an event held at the Sherman Phoenix, the same venue featured in Lewis’ video. Steven Olikarahead of the Millennial Action Project, has created an exploratory committee, a precursor to filing to run.

Like many of her competitors, Lewis is positioning herself against Johnson. “Wisconsin can do better than Ron Johnson,” says Lewis in her video. But Johnson has not yet committed to running for a third term.

Categories: Politics, Weekly

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