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

Barnes Hits Campaign Trail After Primary Win

Mandela Barnes speaks at a Cambridge dairy farm two days after his primary win and as he challenges Ron Johnson in the fall Aug. 11, 2022. WISC-TV/Channel3000.

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. Currently, Siegel is not listed on Barnes’ website as an endorser, nor are the other law enforcement officials included in the press release. The campaign has not issued a press release as a correction to date.

News 3 Now reached out to the Barnes campaign for comment on what happened with the false endorsement.

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.”