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Mandela Barnes To Become First African-American Lieutenant Governor

Barnes Is Just Second Black Person Elected To Statewide Office In Wisconsin

Mandela Barnes
Then-Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes speaks at a rally Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, in Milwaukee. Morry Gash/AP Photo

Democrat Tony Evers’ running mate Mandela Barnes will become the first African-American lieutenant governor in Wisconsin history.

The Evers victory over Republican Gov. Scott Walker means Barnes will become just the second black person elected to a statewide office in Wisconsin.

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Vel Phillips was the first black person elected to statewide office in 1978. She served as secretary of state for one term.

Barnes won an August primary and that paired him with Evers, who also survived a primary.

The 31-year-old Barnes is a former state representative from Milwaukee. He joked about the difference in age with Evers, who is more than twice as old as him at 67.

They called themselves the “Tony and Mandela Show” on the campaign trail, working to engage younger voters through stunts like live streaming their drive to a news conference.