Mandela Barnes serves as Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. He was elected on November 8, 2018. He is the first African-American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Lt. Gov. Barnes is the son of a public-school teacher and a United Auto Workers member, to whom he credits much of his success. He grew up attending Milwaukee Public Schools and graduated from John Marshall High School in 2003.
Lt. Gov. Barnes attended Alabama A&M University. After his time there, he worked for various political campaigns and in the city of Milwaukee mayor’s office, eventually becoming an organizer for Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope, a Milwaukee-based interfaith coalition that advocates social justice.
In 2012, at the age of 25, Lt. Gov. Barnes was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served two terms. His tenure in the State Assembly included serving as Chair of the Legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus and becoming a recognized leader on progressive economic policies and gun violence prevention legislation.
Within his current role, Lt. Gov. Barnes serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change while also serving as co-Chair of the New DEAL Climate Change Policy Group. The New DEAL is a national network of rising state and local elected leaders. The lieutenant governor uses a platform of sustainability and equity to fight for solutions that invest in opportunities and fairness for every child, person, and family in Wisconsin, regardless of zip code.