Wisconsin's next United States Senate race is slated for 2022. Republican Ron Johnson currently holds the seat up for grabs in that particular race. Johnson was once a powerful committee chairman in the Senate. He has become a source of immense angst and stress in the state.

His drastic veer to the hard right has alienated many moderate voters in the famously purple state. Many of his more extreme comments have been offensive to constituents and encroached into the territory of the bizarre. Johnson hasn't declared one way or the other if he'll run for re-election in 2022.

But, at least on the Democratic side, the race is on.

Barnes reportedly declaring candidacy

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes is expected to launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate officially. He becomes one of many in a crowded field looking for the Democratic nomination. And others may yet still enter the race.

Barnes has garnered significant attention for his police reform advocacy, notes Racine County Eye. Other major initiatives he's taken on include climate change. But despite this, and that other could launch their own campaigns, Barnes' entry is relatively late. Other candidates in the Democratic primary have already accumulated many supporters. And, especially if they've already made a public endorsement, it could be too late to win them over.

The Democratic race for the seat has been officially active for quite some time. But conversely, the Republican race has been in something of a stand-still. Many prospective candidates seem to be waiting for a solid answer from Johnson about his plans. Thus far, no Republican has officially announced their candidacy. But many may be waiting in the wings, such as U.S.

Representative Mike Gallagher and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Barnes is a former state representative

Mandela Barnes holds a degree from Alabama A&M University. A subject that Barnes got himself in trouble on in the past. He finally reportedly earned the degree in 2020. It came after it was earlier revealed that he didn't actually graduate from the university.

Which normally probably wouldn't be such a big deal. Suppose Barnes hadn't previously publicly boasted about his supposedly earning said degree.

In Wisconsin, candidates for lieutenant governor run separately in their respective party primaries. The winners then basically wait to see who wins the general election. Whichever party's gubernatorial nominee wins the general election also gets the lieutenant governor's office.

Barnes won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor in 2018. Later in the year, Democrat Tony Evers won the state's governorship. According to WTMJ, Barnes has Evers' support if he does run for the Senate.

Previously, Barnes won two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly from the 11th District.

In 2016, he ran for a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate from the 4th District. He lost the Democratic nomination to incumbent Lena Taylor. Other political roles Barnes has held include working as a staffer for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.