Milwaukee Police Association endorses Johnson in US Senate race

MADISON, Wis. — The union that represents rank-and-file Milwaukee police officers gave its support to incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson as he faces challenger Mandela Barnes in the Nov. 8 election.

The endorsement comes amid competing law enforcement endorsements from Barnes — some of which his campaign later had to retract.

The Milwaukee Police Association said in its endorsement of Johnson that they supported him as an advocate for law enforcement professionals.

“We need a leader like Senator Johnson who will continue to fight for public safety and the rights of citizens to feel safe in their neighborhoods,” MPA President Andrew Wagner said during a phone call with reporters Tuesday morning.

During that phone call, Johnson himself also took shots at Barnes over the rhetoric he says Barnes uses regarding the police.

“Compare [my rhetoric] that to my opponent who I would say helped incite additional days of rioting in Kenosha by saying that police action was a vendetta carried out against a community,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: Reality Check: Barnes does not want to abolish ICE, despite ad claims

He also argued against claims by those on the left that he is the one that wants to defund police. A recent ad points to his vote against the American Rescue Plan Act.

“It’s rare, I would say never happens where you’re voting simply on a bill to fund the police,” Johnson said. “If it were that case, I’d be voting for all of them, like I vote for defense spending, because those are top priorities of government to keep our nation safe.”

In response to the endorsement, a Barnes campaign spokesperson said that “Ron Johnson’s record speaks for itself: he defended the criminals whose insurrection injured 140 police officers on January 6th and voted against increased police funding throughout his twelve years in the U.S. Senate.”