A sixth speaker and the third who has never run for office before, Steven Olikara, formed an exploratory committee last week and appeared all but certain to run. He would be the first person of Indian descent to be elected to the Senate from Wisconsin.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is also considering a run for the Senate. He didn’t speak Sunday, but in recorded comments broadcast to convention attendees on Saturday, Barnes detailed his efforts to combat climate change and achieve racial equity. Barnes is the only statewide elected official who is Black, and he would be the first African American U.S. senator from Wisconsin should he run and win.
Johnson said last week that he hasn’t decided whether to seek a third term and that he feels no pressure to decide anytime soon.
Nelson, speaking from his garage in front of a stack of wood that he said he chopped himself, pitched himself as the underdog who doesn’t have personal wealth to tap for the race. He has modeled his candidacy off of former Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, who made similar arguments in his first successful run in 1992.
“We have nominated an underdog before and we can do it again,” Nelson said.
Lasry said he would follow similar strategies used in 2018 by Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Gov. Tony Evers in their successful campaigns, going to parts of the state that Democrats have ignored in the past to build a broad coalition. He also touted his endorsements from, and support for, labor unions.
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