Darrell Williams poetically joins the race for U.S. Senate

By: - August 6, 2021 12:10 pm

Darrell Williams for Senate

Darrell Williams, who serves as Gov. Tony Evers’ Administrator of the Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Military Affairs, announced his run for the U.S. Senate on Friday morning with a video. 

His background and his announcement highlight education, diversity, military service, taking on climate change, combating COVID and other issues that — in addition to working for Evers  — would lead one to believe he is a Democrat, but there is no mention of a party affiliation in his announcement.

Dr. Darrell L. Williams

In talking about his role on the front lines of the COVID response in emergency management, he wears a mask and uses slogans from Evers, as well as President Joe Biden: “My heart still mourns for those we have lost to this deadly virus, but shoulder to shoulder we will work with our federal, state and local partners to help our state bounce back and to help our nation to build back better.”

Prior to his work in the Department of Military Affairs, he served in the Beloit School District as an assistant and interim superintendent, and was principal at several schools in Milwaukee. His video also highlights his life and family, “I was born in extreme poverty in the cotton fields of Abbeville, Mississippi,” he says, crediting his family for his strong belief in education that led him all the way to earning his PhD from UW-Milwaukee.

Williams expresses strong support for the military. His 29-year-career in the Army included combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and he earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. “I am combat tested and approved,” he declares.

“Dr. Williams’ years of distinguished military service coupled with his outstanding career in the Wisconsin public education system make me confident that he will serve well in this position,” said Evers in July 2019 when Williams joined the administration .

Notably, Williams is the only candidate thus far that has kicked off his campaign with an introduction done in performance, spoken-word poetry while descending the steps of the state Capitol.

The Cook Political Report changed its rating of the 2022 Wisconsin Senate race from leaning Republican to a toss up earlier this week. Democrats currently running (links are to their Ballotpedia pages) are: Mandela Barnes, Gillian Battino, Sarah Godlewski , Tom Nelson, Alex Lasry, Chantia Lewis, Adam Murphy and Peter Peckarsky. State Sen. Chris Larson exited the race this week and endorsed Barnes.

Sen. Ron Johnson has not said if he will be running for re-election.


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Melanie Conklin
Melanie Conklin

Melanie Conklin is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications. She is excited to be back at the craft of journalism as Deputy Editor of the Wisconsin Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.