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Barnes says he'll accept midterm results after claiming 2016 election was 'rigged' and Abrams 'won' in 2018

Democrat Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, D-Wis., said he will accept the results of the Wisconsin Senate race against Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., after making claims that suggested he denied the results of previous elections.

Fox News Digital reached out to Barnes, asking him if he would accept the results of this year’s midterm election not matter the outcome, after a 2016 tweet resurfaced where he insinuated the presidential election was “rigged.” 

“The election was, rigged?” Barnes tweeted after former President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the heated 2020 race for the presidency.

A spokesperson for the Barnes’ campaign referred Fox New Digital to a recent tweet where the Democrat committed to accepting this year’s election results. “I will commit to accepting the result of the election, and it’s shameful that Ron Johnson won’t do the same,” Barnes said.

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“Barnes’ comments are comical,” Mike Marinella, press secretary for the Ron Johnson campaign, told Fox News Digital in reaction to the Tweet. “He has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories and denied election results himself.”

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In a 2019 tweet, Barnes claimed that if it weren’t for “voter suppression” in the 2018 election, Stacey Abrams would have won the governor’s race.

“Stacey, you are an inspiration,” Barnes said in February 2019 after Trump’s State of the Union address. “I believe that if it were not for attempts of voter suppression, she’d be governor today.”

Democratic Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes voiced that he would accept the results of the election.

Democratic Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes voiced that he would accept the results of the election.
(Scott Olson)

Abrams lost to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., in Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election, but refused to concede after the race ended in her defeat.

“This is not a speech of concession, concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” Abrams said during a speech following her loss. “I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Stacey Abrams is the Democratic nominee in Georiga's gubernatorial race, after losing to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018.

Stacey Abrams is the Democratic nominee in Georiga’s gubernatorial race, after losing to incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018.
(Joe Raedle)

“I have never denied the outcome,” Abrams told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” Monday as she gears up to face off once against Kemp this fall. “I have never been unclear about the fact that I did not win the race,” she stated.

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Abrams, who is once again running for governor against Kemp, did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment asking whether she would accept the election results this year.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.

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