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Democratic millennial leader joins Wisconsin U.S. Senate race

Steven Olikara - Democrat for U.S. Senate
Steven Olikara - Democrat for U.S. Senate(WBAY)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 11:51 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Steven Olikara, a 31-year-old who has worked with young office holders to reach bipartisan solutions, is joining the crowded Democratic race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. Olikara launched his candidacy on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

The founder of the Millennial Action Project is running his first campaign in a crowded race for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Johnson hasn’t said yet whether he will seek a third term for the seat that is up in 2022. Millennial Action Project is a national non-profit teaching young leaders to bridge partisan politics and work with elected leaders.

Olikara is a Brookfield native and the son of Indian immigrants. A musician and former DJ, he says he’ll bring his guitar on the trail of his “Dignity Tour” campaign while pitching a message emphasizing collaboration and consensus building.

The tour plans to stop in Sturgeon Bay next Tuesday, August 24, with former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton.

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), others who filed to run for the Senate seat as Democrats are (alphabetically):

  • Mandela Barnes*
  • Gillian Battino
  • Samuel Nicholas D’Amico*
  • Sarah Godlewski
  • Chris Larson**
  • Alex Lasry
  • Kou Lee*
  • Chantia Lewis
  • Adam Murphy
  • Tom Nelson
  • Peter Peckarsky*
  • Darrell Williams

* indicates no contributions reported yet to the FEC. **Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson withdrew from the race in early August.

John Berman and Keith Neubert filed to run for the U.S. Senate seat as Republicans. Neither has reported funds to the FEC. Ron Johnson reported $3.3 million in contributions and transfers and $1,6 million in disbursements -- mostly operating expenses -- between January 1 and June 30, but, as mentioned earlier, he has not confirmed he’ll run for re-election.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WBAY contributed to this report.