MILWAUKEE — Democrat Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson announced Friday they have agreed to participate in a televised Senate Debate on Thursday, Oct. 13, airing on NBC 26.
The debate, sponsored by Wispolitics.com, 620 WTMJ, and the Milwaukee Business Journal, will be in Milwaukee from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will air statewide from Marquette University. The debate is the only one both candidates have agreed to participate in as of Friday.
“We look forward to these opportunities to share with Wisconsin voters the truth about Lt. Gov. Barnes’ desire to defund the police, abolish ICE, raise taxes and crush Wisconsin’s economy with the Green New Deal," Ben Voelkel, senior advisor for the Johnson campaign said in a statement Friday. "He’s been hiding from the public for too long and he needs to answer for these extreme positions.”
Barnes also challenged Johnson to join a forum hosted by Main Street Alliance and the Wisconsin Farmers Union in Oshkosh. The forum's date is yet to be announced.
“Ron Johnson has spent over a decade in Washington selling out working families and calling to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block," Barnes campaign manager Kory Kozloski said in a statement Friday. "Mandela looks forward to holding him accountable for his record of putting himself and his wealthy donors first on the debate stage in Milwaukee, and then in his own backyard in Oshkosh.”
A new Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday found Johnson holds a "slim lead" against Barnes ahead of Wisconsin's elections on Nov. 8.
According to the poll, 49% of respondents said they support Johnson while 48% said they support Barnes. That's compared to 51% for Barnes and 44% for Johnson in the Marquette poll in August.