MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes’ campaign has removed the names of two law enforcement officers from the list of endorsements, including one who did not, in fact, back Barnes.
Barnes' campaign on Thursday released the list of nine endorsements from current and former law enforcement officers. One of them was John Siegel, who was listed as a police captain for the city of La Crosse. On Monday, the conservative website Wisconsin Right Now reported an interview with Seigel in which he said he never endorsed Barnes.
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.
The Barnes campaign also removed the name of Racine County Deputy Sheriff Malik Frazier. Racine County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Lt. Michael Luell told CBS-58 that while Frazier personally supports Barnes in the U.S. Senate race, officers cannot publicly endorse a candidate according to federal laws.
McDaniel said Frazier’s name was removed “out of an abundance of caution.”
Barnes is running against Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in a contest that polls show is about even. Johnson campaign spokesman Alec Zimmerman accused Barnes of “lying about who supports him."
Siegel is a patrol captain with the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Department and running as a Democrat to replace outgoing Sheriff Jeff Wolf. He told WISC-TV he had a brief conversation with a member of the Barnes campaign but said “I didn’t ever agree to put my name on anything or be added to a list.”