Democratic Senate candidates take the stage in first televised debate

Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates debate in Milwaukee, July 17 2022
Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates debate in Milwaukee, July 17 2022(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 9:35 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Democratic candidates running for the chance to represent the Democratic party in the fight for the Wisconsin Senate seat took the stage in Milwaukee Sunday night.

They discussed topics ranging from inflation to the environment in the first televised debate for the race.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Alex Lasry, Outagamie Co. Executive Tom Nelson and Steven Olikara debated at Marquette University’s Varsity Theater.

One of the biggest themes of the night was each candidate making a point of why they believe they can defeat Republican incumbent Ron Johnson.

“We know the number one priority is to defeat Ron Johnson,” Sarah Godlewski said.

Topics throughout the hour-long debate included inflation, abortion and crime. Throughout the evening, candidates argued what would propel them past the Republican.

“We have to make sure that we get rid of Ron Johnson, so we can elect more democrats around the country, to get rid of the filibuster so that we can protect a woman’s right to choose,” Alex Lasry said.

Republican political analyst Bill McCoshen said he was surprised by the approach from the candidates on the stage.

“If you weren’t Mandela Barnes, that should have been your objective tonight was displacing him at the top of the heap, and I don’t think any of the four other candidates did that tonight, they needed to contrast with him,” McCoshen said.

The primary election awaits on August 9. The general election is on Nov. 8.

McCoshen said he believes there is one person who will come out of next month’s election.

“I think going in, Barnes was the favorite. I think coming out, Barnes was the favorite. So I think coming out of the night, the question for the other four is what do they do with the advertising over the final three weeks to try and change that order,” McCoshen said.

You can find your voting location for the upcoming primary election here.

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