Mandela Barnes Touts Elizabeth Warren’s Endorsement on a Saturday, then Gets Tom Nelson’s on Monday

Elizabeth Warren Mandela

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks to a crowd on the lawn at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Saturday, July 23, in support of Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes' campaign for US Senate. (Photo by Christina Lorey)

By Christina Lorey
July 25, 2022

“Do I say it?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren teased the crowd of about 100 sweaty but smiling voters early Saturday afternoon on Madison’s Capitol Square. 

Nearly everyone cheered. Warren continued.

“We persist together.”

Louder cheers.

“But I need another partner in Washington. And that’s why I need you to vote for Mandela Barnes and tell your friends, too.”

Video: See Elizabeth Warren’s visit on Christina Lorey’s Instagram Reels page.

Lt. Gov. Barnes, one of the three major Democratic candidates hoping to unseat Sen. Ron Johnson this fall, jogged down the Capitol steps to join Warren. An endorsement from Massachusetts’ senior Senator is the latest national notch in his campaign belt. An endorsement from a now-former primary opponent is the most recent.

US Senators Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) have endorsed Barnes, as has US House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, whose 2020 backing of then-candidate Joe Biden played a pivotal role in that primary battle.

Barnes also picked up the support of Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson Monday morning, when the former Assembly Majority Leader dropped out of the race. Barnes will face off against state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry in the Aug. 9 primary.

Barnes is backed by the organizations that include Citizen Action Wisconsin, MoveOn, and labor unions such as the American Federation of Teachers Wisconsin.

Godlewski is endorsed by Donna Shalala, the former president of the University of Wisconsin System from 1988-1993 and who later served in Congress from Florida. Tia Nelson, daughter of former Governor and US Sen. Gaylord Nelson also supports Godlewski, as do the groups EMILY’s List and the Feminist Majority PAC.

Lasry endorsements include Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, state Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison), former state Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), former Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) and several labor unions—including International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494 & 890 and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers of Wisconsin.

Endorsements ultimately don’t put candidates in office—voters do. Check the website for the Wisconsin Elections Commission,, to verify your registration status, find your polling place, and more.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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