Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) has raked in almost $150,000 in the days since Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonConservative pundit says YouTube blocked interview with Rand Paul Juan Williams: It's Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP's future Sunday shows - Russia standoff over Ukraine dominates MORE (R-Wis.) announced that he will run for reelection in the Badger State, giving the Democratic candidate a fundraising boost in a 12-person primary battle.
Barnes's campaign said more than 5,000 individual donors have contributed since Sunday morning, when Johnson announced he will run for a third term representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate. The average donation was $28.
The roughly three-day haul gives the Barnes campaign strong footing in the Democratic primary race, where 12 candidates are running for the party’s nomination to take on Johnson.
Barnes has emerged as an early front-runner in the field. An internal poll released by the campaign on Friday found that he has a 29-point lead over Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and is 30 points ahead of Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents, however, said they are still undecided on who to support in the race.
A number of top Democrats have already thrown their support behind the lieutenant governor, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (Mass.) and Cory BookerCory BookerDespite Senate setbacks, the fight for voting rights is far from over Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (N.J.).
Johnson said Sunday that he will run for reelection in the Badger State, breaking a vow he made in 2016 to seek only two six-year terms in the upper chamber. He said that while he would prefer to retire, he decided to run again to fight against Democrats’ control in Washington and “disastrous policies.”
The Cook Political Report says the race for Johnson’s Senate seat is a toss-up.
Barnes released his first policy plan last month, which included passing new voting rights legislation and a call for the filibuster to be abolished.