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Barnes focuses on small businesses in La Crosse as part of Senate campaign kickoff

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There are already nine Democrats in Wisconsin who have declared as candidates to replace U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.  To stand out in that crowd, it may take some name recognition for a challenger to earn support…and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes might have an advantage in that area. 

While visiting La Crosse on Thursday, Barnes told reporters that he knows the state as well as any candidate.

“I come into the race as the most experienced, the most qualified,” said Barnes. “I’ve also had a chance to travel the state. I know the state better. I’ve been able to go to all 72 counties, meeting with people from all walks of life.”    

Barnes visited downtown businesses, including Schuby’s Butcher Shop, Smith’s Bike Shop, and Larson’s General Store with Mayor Mitch Reynolds during a two-hour stop in La Crosse.          

While at Smith’s, Barnes said he wants to help businesses which have missed out on supplies and inventory during the pandemic.

“Even though people were buying bikes left and right over the last year, the supply chain has been impacted, and companies like Trek are having a problem keeping up with demand,” said Barnes.   

Incumbent Republican Johnson hasn’t announced his plans for 2022 yet, saying it’s too early to campaign.  

Barnes announced his Senate campaign on Tuesday. In response, Wisconsin Republicans threw a mock graduation party for him, saying Barnes finally graduated from college this year after falsely claiming for years that he already had a degree.

 

 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.