Democrat Sarah Godlewski ends US Senate bid in Wisconsin, clearing way for Mandela Barnes

Godlewski, who is backing Barnes in the contest to face GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, is the third Democrat to drop out of the race this week as it became clear the lieutenant governor was likely to win the Aug. 9 primary. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and Outagamie County executive Tom Nelson also ended their campaigns this week and endorsed Barnes.

“It’s clear that if we’re finally going to send Ron Johnson packing, we all need to support Mandela Barnes and fight together,” Godlewski said in a statement. “I’m proud of what our campaign in 72 counties has accomplished, and while I may not be on the ballot in November, every issue we fought for will be.”

Although there are other candidates in the race, Barnes is the overwhelming favorite in the primary and is now set to face Johnson in November.

“I am honored to accept Treasurer Godlewski’s endorsement in this critical race,” Barnes said. “Throughout this campaign, Sarah has been a leader in the fight to protect abortion access and a tireless advocate for workers and rural communities in Wisconsin. I will proudly stand by his side in these fights as we take on Ron Johnson in the fall.”

He added: “This week has demonstrated what it looks like when we come together for a purpose that is bigger than ourselves.”

Johnson responded to Friday’s development by saying Democrats had now “cleared the field for their most radical leftist candidate.”

“Socialist policies have produced this mess, and a radical left senator from Wisconsin is not the solution,” he tweeted.

The race against Johnson in Wisconsin presents one of the best opportunities for Democrats to clinch a Senate seat in November.

The campaign between Barnes, Lasry, Godlewski and Nelson had been largely tame, with each more focused on Johnson than the other, hinting at what is expected to be a costly and brutal election campaign.

This story and title have been updated.

Manu Raju of Les actualites contributed to this report.

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