Press Release

SEIU Wisconsin State Council Endorses Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate 

WATCH: Learn More About How Mandela Will Support Unions in the U.S. Senate Here 

Mandela Was Previously Endorsed by AFT Local 212, AFSCME Council 32, and a Coalition of More than a Dozen Prominent Labor Leaders Across Wisconsin 


MADISON — Today, SEIU Wisconsin State Council announced it would endorse Lt. Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes in the Democratic Senate primary. SEIU Wisconsin State Council represents health care, public sector and property services employees in Wisconsin. 

“I’m so proud to receive the endorsement of one of the largest unions in the state,” said Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. “SEIU represents the folks that have kept us safe throughout our toughest times including the pandemic. In the Senate, I will work just as hard for them as they work for us every single day.” 

“As we emerge from the pandemic when many of us were recognized as essential workers for the first time, Mandela Barnes has our backs,” said Brenda Frary, a hospital worker and president of the SEIU Wisconsin State Council. “He was born and raised here and has been a champion for Wisconsin’s working people his entire life.”

Pat Raes, president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, said, “Mandela Barnes knows that all of us, regardless of our ZIP code, where we come from or the color of our skin, must be able to come together to form strong unions to build a Wisconsin that works for everyone. No exceptions.”

“Our democracy itself is on the ballot this year as racist voter suppression efforts target people of color and those with disabilities,” said Clarissa Acevedo, a member of SEIU Local 1 and State Council treasurer. “Mandela Barnes has a strong history of standing up and pushing back against corrupt politicians and the wealthy who bankroll them. We can count on him to continue to be a true leader for people like us and to help rewrite the rules for unions for all and a government that works for all.”