Barnes blames staffer for graduation claim

Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes
By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is blaming a campaign staffer for telling a newspaper he had graduated from college when he really hadn't.

A candidate questionnaire that Barnes' campaign returned to the Wisconsin State Journal last year said Barnes had a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Alabama A&M University.

But Barnes told Isthmus newspaper for a story published Thursday that he didn't graduate from college because he didn't complete a course. A&M spokesman Jerome Saintjones confirmed Barnes attended the school but didn't graduate.

Barnes spokesman Earl Arms said in an email that Barnes has always said he attended A&M rather than saying he graduated. Arms said the questionnaire response was an error by a campaign staffer, and that Barnes "regrets that oversight."

Barnes told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel twice in a November interview that he "finished" college, and the paper reported he had graduated. Arms didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on that remark.