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State Representative, Lieutenant Governor, United States Senator.
This is the path Mandela Barnes tries to secure.
Barnes, who was elected in 2018 as Wisconsin’s 45th lieutenant governor, entered the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in July, launching his campaign from his hometown of Milwaukee.
The 34-year-old with an ambitious political agenda, Barnes spoke to The Cape Times on Wednesday to discuss politics, youth representation in Washington and the campaign in general. Below is an in-depth Q&A with The Cape Times on dairy policy, healthcare, climate policy and more.
This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.
If you are elected, you and Senator Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, will be the only 30s to sit in the United States Senate. What do you think this says about the body as a whole? And how important is it that young people are represented in Washington?
Honestly, this is just one layer of the lack of representation in Washington. Of course, there is no generational representation, but there is also a lack of representation in terms of life experience. It is an organization that is not representative of the American people. Whether it’s class, whether it’s race, not even gender yet. So there is a long way to go. And I think the Senate has been as callous as it has been to these groups of people because of this lack of representation. People who do not bring the various lived experiences of the people they represent and, unfortunately, also, the Senate is not the most democratic institution.