Press Releases

End Citizens United // Let America Vote Announces First Senate Challenger Endorsements in Wisconsin and North Carolina

Oct 06, 2021

End Citizens United (ECU) and Let America Vote (LAV) today announced its first round of U.S. Senate challenger endorsements for the 2022 election cycle. The endorsements include: Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, who is challenging Senator Ron Johnson (R), and former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who is running for an open Senate seat currently held by Senator Richard Burr (R).

Both Barnes and Beasley are historic, barrier-breaking candidates. Justice Beasley was the first Black woman to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Lt. Governor Barnes is the first Black Lt. Governor of Wisconsin and only the second Black statewide elected official in the state. If elected, both Barnes and Beasley would be the first Black Senators from each of their respective states.

Barnes and Beasley both have rejected corporate PAC money, showing they will only answer to the hard-working families of Wisconsin and North Carolina, not big money corporate special interests. They are also both vocal advocates for protecting the freedom to vote and support the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“These two champions of protecting the freedom to vote and getting big money out of politics are exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate,” said End Citizens United // Let America Vote President Tiffany Muller. “Both Justice Beasley and Lt. Governor Barnes will fight for working families to ensure that our government works for the people, not for corporate special interests that have rigged the system for their own gain at the expense of everyone else. Beasley and Barnes have fought against anti-voter measures in their states and understand that our democracy works best when every American can participate. We’re proud to endorse both of these candidates to expand the Democratic majority and look forward to seeing them serve in the Senate.”

“I am honored to have the support of End Citizens United // Let America Vote. For far too long, corporate special interests have used every play in the book – from partisan gerrymandering to voter suppression to billions in dark money contributions – to suppress the voices of working Wisconsinites. Ron Johnson has been a tool of the corporate special interests since he arrived in Washington – he’s delivered billions in corporate handouts in exchange for their dark money, and he’s left working Wisconsinites behind,” said Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “We’re building a movement to change the game in Washington, and that starts by not taking corporate PAC money. Working together with End Citizens United and Let America Vote, we’re going to root out corruption and special interest influence so that we can deliver on the critical issues facing working Wisconsin families.”

“For too long, Washington has put special interests over the people, and I’m running to be North Carolina’s next Senator because it’s time for that to change,” said Cheri Beasley. “As a former public defender and Chief Justice I’ve dedicated my life to the pursuit of justice and fairness, and I will fight for the people of North Carolina every day in the Senate.”

ECU // LAV, a leading anti-corruption and voting rights group that is grassroots-funded, raised and spent $65.5 million in the 2020 election cycle. Its $12.5 million independent expenditure made it the 4th largest issue group spending on the Democratic side. Through its grassroots members, ECU // LAV raised $9.5 million directly for endorsed candidates and state ballot measures. The group also donated nearly $2.5 million directly to its endorsed campaigns.

ECU // LAV merged in 2020. The group is dedicated to combating the two biggest challenges facing our democracy: the corrosive impact of Big Money and attempts to block access to the ballot box. In 2020, ECU // LAV led the fight to protect all Americans’ right to vote and played a pivotal role in electing anti-corruption Senate candidates that helped flip the chamber. ECU // LAV has more than four million members nationwide.