Mandela Barnes

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Mandela Barnes
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 11th district
Assumed office
January 7, 2013
Preceded by Jason Fields
Personal details
Born (1986-12-01) December 1, 1986 (age 29)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Residence Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Alma mater Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Occupation State Representative
Religion Christianity

Mandela Barnes (born December 1, 1986) is an American community organizer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who defeated Jason Fields, an incumbent member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, in the Democratic Party primary election of August, 2012. Barnes was considered the presumptive winner, since there was no opposition candidate filed against him for the November general election.[1] He received 16,403 votes to 201 scattered votes for others in the November election.[2]


Barnes was born in Milwaukee on December 1, 1986,[3] the son of a public school teacher and a United Auto Workers member. He attended Milwaukee Public Schools, including John Marshall High School; and graduated from Alabama A & M University. He worked for various political campaigns, and in the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; and eventually became an organizer for M.I.C.A.H., a Milwaukee-based interfaith coalition that advocates social justice.

Assembly race[edit]

Barnes' campaign made major issues of Fields' support for the school voucher program, and Fields’ opposition to limiting interest rates charged by payday loan companies, whose charges can exceed a 500% annual percentage rate.[4][5] His win was seen as a loss for the pro-voucher American Federation for Children, which pumped over $100,000 into primaries in greater Milwaukee to support candidates, none of whom won.[6]


External links[edit]