Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes removed the names of two law enforcement officers from his Democratic U.S. Senate campaign’s list of endorsements after one denied endorsing him and the other said he was unaware that his name and occupation would appear on the list, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
On Sept. 15, Barnes’ campaign released a list of nine law enforcement endorsements. Two days later, La Crosse County Sheriff’s Capt. John Siegel and Racine County Sheriff's Deputy Malik Frazier were erased from the updated list.
Conservative website Wisconsin Right Now reported an interview with Seigel in which he said he never endorsed Barnes.
“I have not endorsed anybody. I spent most of my day Friday (Sept. 16) trying to get a hold of people asking how did this happen,” said Siegel, who’s running as a Democrat to replace outgoing Sheriff Jeff Wolf.
Barnes’ spokesperson Maddy McDaniel told Wisconsin Public Radio on Monday that it was a mistake “due to a clerical error,” which was corrected on the campaign website Saturday.
In the other case, Racine County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Lt. Michael Luell told Milwaukee station WDJT that Frazier personally supports Barnes in the U.S. Senate race but was unaware that the campaign would use his name and position. Federal laws prohibit officers from publicly endorsing a candidate.
"Because he is a non-elected active duty officer, when we announced our expanded list, we removed him out of an abundance of caution," McDaniel stated.
Barnes is running against Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.