Graham Kilmer

Ron Johnson Appears To Defeat Mandela Barnes

Narrow race appears to have given Republican a third term.

By - Nov 9th, 2022 02:32 am
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

Two-term U.S. Senator Ron Johnson appears to have narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes Tuesday.

Johnson’s victory would help the Republicans maintain a toe-hold in the senate, as the party tries to take back the majority from Democrats who narrowly secured it with the 2020 election.

Decision Desk called the race for Johnson at 1:23 a.m. At the time of publication of this article, Johnson was up 50.7% to 49.3%. “I will say at this time, truth has prevailed over the lies,” said Johnson in remarks shortly before Decision Desk called the race.

The Associated Press has not called the race as of 6:30  a.m.

At 12:45 a.m., Milwaukee County Supervisor Felesia Martin addressed the crowd at Barnes’ election night event at Turner Hall. She said the race was “far too close to call tonight” and told Barnes supporters to go home. Barnes did not address the crowd and did not concede the election.

Johnson has run on his experience as a businessperson since his first foray into politics in 2010. He served as CEO of PACUR, a company started by his wife’s family. He rode into the Senate in 2010, defeating Sen. Russ Feingold, amidst a Republican wave. The 2010 election was a watershed year in American politics that saw the Tea Party movement gain seats in Congress and state legislatures across the country. Johnson defeated Feingold a second time in 2016.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Johnson became a high-profile election denier following the lead of President Donald Trump. He stoked doubts about the legitimacy of President Joe Biden‘s election, called Jan. 6 rioters at the U.S. capital “jovial, friendly, earnest people” and even participated in an effort to overturn the election results in Wisconsin with a slate of fake electors. In the days leading up to the election Tuesday, Johnson refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election.

The same broad issues that came to define midterm elections across the country — crime and the economy — were at play in the Wisconsin senate race. But on specific policy questions, Johnson also came down against gun control legislation and marijuana legalization, and he supported the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.

Despite raising fewer campaign funds than Barnes, Johnson was aided in the final months of the race by an avalanche of advertising bought by third-party groups attacking Barnes. The campaign finance watchdog Open Secrets reports that approximately $52 million in attack ads against Barnes were paid for by outside groups.

By the final debate, both candidates were on the attack, even including personal attacks. In fact, when prompted by the moderator, Johnson proved himself unable to say something nice about Barnes without adding that he thought the Democrat had “turned against America.” This final exchange encapsulated the down-and-dirty campaign Johnson and his allies ran against Barnes.

In September, Democratic politicians and activists held a protest outside of the Republican Party’s Milwaukee headquarters highlighting the racist political ads ran against Barnes. In one instance, an image of Barnes was shown next to other progressive legislators, all people of color, with narration that said, “Mandela Barnes stands with them, not us.” Attack ads against Barnes also regularly tried to link him to crime rates.

Barnes was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He did not run for re-election as part of his senate bid.

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Categories: Politics

One thought on “Ron Johnson Appears To Defeat Mandela Barnes”

  1. ringo muldano says:

    WTF people! How do you vote Tony in and not Mandela?

    Maybe it’s because election day is so close to Halloween and you’re into the Skeletor theme? Or are Corrupt Ugly Narcissistic Traitors your thing? welcome to Death Cult ’22.

    At best, everyone that voted for RoJo is a closet fascist.

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