La Crosse Co. Sheriff’s Dept. captain denies endorsing Barnes for U.S. Senate

MADISON, Wis. — A captain in the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department who was included in a press release of law enforcement officials endorsing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes says he made no such endorsement.

Capt. John Siegel, who is also running as a Democrat for La Crosse County Sheriff, said he found out Friday that his name was among the list of endorsers.

“I called immediately — whoever I could get a hold of, and finally got a hold of somebody operating their campaign and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t ever agree to put my name on anything or be added to a list,'” Siegel said in a call with News 3 Now.

RELATED: Barnes releases law enforcement endorsements

He said the confusion may have stemmed from a brief conversation he had with Barnes campaign staff, during which Siegel said he did not make an endorsement.

He said the Barnes campaign told him it would rectify the issue, and in a statement Monday, the campaign said it had corrected the discrepancy on its website.

“As Captain Siegel said, due to a clerical error from our staff, there was a mistake in our initial list,” said campaign spokesperson Maddy McDaniel. “The error has been corrected on our website. The Lt. Governor is proud to be endorsed by a coalition of over a dozen members of law enforcement across the state including the Sheriffs of Rock County and Green County.”

Currently, Siegel is not listed on Barnes’ website under the endorsement tab, nor are the other law enforcement officials included in the press release. The campaign corrected the endorsement mistake by adding a line to the digital version of a press release that was released on Saturday.

Barnes faces incumbent Republican Ron Johnson in the general election. Johnson campaign spokesperson Alec Zimmerman said in a statement that, “This election is about who you can trust … now [Barnes] is hoping voters won’t pay attention to his lies as he tries to play cover up.”