Senator Cory Booker and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes Host “Black Media Sit Down” in Milwaukee

5 Democrats Running for U.S. Senate

Tonight, July 17, 2022, starting at 6 p.m. CST, five Democrats running for U.S. Senate are participating in the first televised debate of Wisconsin’s campaign season at the Marquette University’s Varsity Theatre.

Cory Booker (L) and Mandela Barnes (R).
Cory Booker (L) and Mandela Barnes (R). (Picture by Liyah Sumner/Carvd N Stone)

The debate participants include Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry, Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewskiy, Outagamie Milwaukee County Executive Tom Nelson, and Nonprofit Executive Steven Olikara.

Black Media Sit Down

In preparation for tonight’s primary debate in Milwaukee, Barnes and U.S. Senator Cory Booker hosted a “Black Media Sit Down” at the Sherman Phoenix earlier this week. Black media companies Carvd N Stone, Essence, and WNOV were in attendance; TMJ4 was there as well.

If elected, Barnes would be Wisconsin’s first Black senator and he would be joining the only three Black senators in the Senate: Booker, Tim Scott, and Raphael Warnock. This wouldn’t be Barnes’ “first” title, since he is the first Black Lt. Governor of the state.

Booker opened up the event by introducing himself and why his team “U.S. Senator Mandela Barnes”.

“I just want Mandela to win this race on a personal level. His bio, to me, is nothing short but inspiring.”

– Corey Booker

Booker is the first Black senator from New Jersey and he understands the journey Barnes is on.

Carvd N Stone and Essence were some of the Black media invited to the sit down.
Carvd N Stone and Essence were some of the Black media invited to the sit down. (Picture by Liyah Sumner/Carvd N Stone)

Why is Mandela Running?

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Barnes entered the race as one of the most known candidates and he is most likely to beat Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

Barnes shared his views on what he wants to change and what he’s already doing, such as focusing on climate change policies, supporting farms through funding and resources, pushing towards better education, and the overall health of individuals.

“We have to have a message that resonates and that’s what makes this primary so important as well. That’s what makes electing or nominating a candidate that has the actual lived experience of the people who are most frustrated [so important],” said Barnes.

Barnes is from Milwaukee on 26th and Locust St. and he said he’s lived through most economic issues people are currently going through.

“I have in some way or another have qualified for any program that has been out there, as an adult…and when I talk to people about what they’re going through…I sympathize with you. I know exactly what’s going on. And that’s why I have the urgency that I do to alleviate those economic disparities that people have.”

– Mandela Barnes

The Black Media Sit Down was just one stop to raise awareness for Barnes’ campaign. Barnes and Booker also visited John Marshall High School on Milwaukee’s Northside.

“This is a question if you want life to get better or not,” said Barnes about the urgency to vote. “As bad as it is, it can get worse.” A recent example he provided was the overturning of Roe v. Wade, leaving Wisconsin women to have to find abortion resources in other states.

“Don’t just vote and be done with it…you need to stay active,” he added.

Where to Watch U.S. Senate Debate

There are 34 Senate seats being contested this year: 14 held by Democrats and 20 by Republicans.

Tonight’s U.S. Senate Debate will be available to watch tonight at 6 p.m. CST on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in Milwaukee, WGBA-TV in Green Bay, and online at

The 2022 Wisconsin fall primary is scheduled for August 9, 2022.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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