Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis said she joined the race for U.S. Senate because she has seen what decisions at the federal level can mean for people at the local level.

As a local official, she said, “We are the ones who deal with the everyday quality of life of people.”

Lewis joined a large and growing Dem primary field when she announced her bid last Wednesday.

In an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront,” Lewis said she is running because her life “is about service.”

“I felt called to do it,” she said.

“As a 9-11 Air Force veteran, a pastor, a wife and a mother, I feel very strongly that I have a background that can resonate with most of the people of Wisconsin,” Lewis said.

“UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen asked Lewis how she would build her name recognition and statewide appeal.

“I see it as a grassroots effort, a coalition building process, which is what we already have started to do and the reception has been amazing,” Lewis said.

In another segment, Cook Political Report editor Jessica Taylor said Cook moved Wisconsin’s 2022 U.S. Senate race from “Lean Republican” to “Toss up” because “there are now several credible Democratic challengers” against incumbent GOP Sen. Ron Johnson.

Taylor also said Cook “took into account some of his really puzzling statements, divisive statements that (Johnson’s) made about the Jan. 6 insurrection, Covid and vaccinations.”

“This is just going to be an incredibly competitive race and it’s one of Democrats’ best pick- up opportunities,” Taylor said.

But she also said Johnson, who has not yet announced whether he will run for a third time, should not be counted out.

“He has defied the odds before,” she said.

Also on the program, VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith said the Milwaukee Bucks’ successful championship run, and the televised images of young, diverse crowds in the Deer District, “really helped elevate how people think of Milwaukee.”

“This will really help solidify us as a sports town,” Williams-Smith said.

The next big sporting event to come to Milwaukee is the USA Triathlon Aug. 7-8, which Williams-Smith said is expected to draw around 15,000 people.

“These types of events show that we can pull off massive events, which can attract more of these types of events to Milwaukee,” she said.

She said VISIT Milwaukee will work to build on the Bucks’ success and the attention it has brought to Milwaukee.

“We just have to keep showing people and telling people and focusing on the positive aspects of our city,” she said.

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