Mandela Barnes gets clear path to Democratic nomination in Wisconsin Senate race

Barnes noted in a statement that he intends to "unite Wisconsinites from every corner of the state to defeat Ron Johnson.”

Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry is the second Democrat this week to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin, Politico reports. 

Lasry exited the race on July 27, two weeks before the Aug. 9 primary election. He immediately endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is leading in the polls, according to the Wisconsin Examiner. During a joint appearance Wednesday afternoon in front of Fiserv Forum, Lasry said Barnes is “the best person to be able to defeat” Republican incumbent Ron Johnson, who is seeking reelection.

Wisconsin Gov., Lt. Gov, And National Guard Sargent Hold News Conference
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speaks at a news conference on Aug, 27, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“I want to call on all Democrats from all over the state to come together and make sure that we’re able to unite around not just making sure that Mandela defeats Ron Johnson but making sure that we reelect Tony Evers, Josh Kaul and Democrats up and down the ballot,” Lasry said.

“This has always been a campaign where we’ve said the No. 1 thing that we can do for Wisconsin is making sure that we defeat Ron Johnson,” Lasry added. “And this is not something where we needed to get to the end, for, you know, some sort of participation trophy or anything.”

During their joint appearance, Barnes thanked Lasry for his support, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports. “This sets us up for November,” Barnes said of the midterm election. “This is important that we show up with all the strength, all the momentum, with as many people behind us as possible. It is going to take a broad coalition to defeat Ron Johnson.”

In a statement obtained by, Barnes noted that he and Lasry “are going to unite Wisconsinites from every corner of the state to defeat Ron Johnson.”

“I am so grateful to Alex for all of the work he’s done to move Wisconsin forward, and I’m proud to have his endorsement,” Barnes said. “I deeply admire Alex’s commitment to creating good union jobs and raising wages throughout his career and throughout this campaign, and the work he’s done to bring pride and opportunity to Milwaukee, a city we both love.”

As reported by Politico, Lasry ran a center-left campaign, while Barnes supports Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. If elected, Barnes would be the first Black senator from Wisconsin and at 35, one of the Senate’s youngest members.

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson withdrew from the Democratic Senate race on Monday and threw his support behind Barnes, Politico reports. 

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is still in the race and she told local media at an event on Wednesday that she is not dropping out despite polling in the single digits.

In a statement on Barnes becoming the presumptive nominee in the Wisconsin Senate race provided to theGrio, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Sen. Gary Peters said,
 “The son of a public school teacher and a third shift auto worker, Mandela Barnes will fight for all Wisconsinites to have a fair shot at the American Dream – which is why he has unified Wisconsin Democrats behind his campaign.

He added, “Mandela is fighting for the values Wisconsin’s working families believe in, and we are confident that will lead his campaign to victory in November.”

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