Alex Lasry drops out of U.S. Senate race days ahead of August primary, endorses Mandela Barnes
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry has suspended his bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, becoming the second candidate to drop out of the race this week and throw support behind Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes
The announcement shakes up the U.S. Senate race as now the once-crowded Democratic field essentially drops to a two-person race including frontrunner Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
Outside the Deer District Wednesday, Lasry said he ended his Senate bid and endorsed Barnes after realizing he couldn't overcome the lead his opponent had on him in recent polling.
"I think what prevented us from ever getting over the hump was the broad coalition the Lt. Governor has," Lasry said. "It's something incredible and impressive. It speaks volumes to the support he's got not only for the upcoming primary, but I think going all the way through the general election."
Lasry was the closest candidate behind Barnes trailing 4 percentage points in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll. Barnes has maintained a double-digit lead over his other opponents with 25% support, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski with 9% and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson at 7%, according to the poll.
"This was a tough decision, but it made it a lot easier know the person I was behind," Lasry said.
The news comes two days after candidate Tom Nelson suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate and endorsed Barnes.
Lasry's withdrawal now puts Barnes in good standing to win the August primary to ultimately face off against Republican Senator Ron Johnson in November.
"You put so much of your life in these races and it shows real leadership when you do what's best for November -- ultimately defeating Ron Johnson," Barnes said.
Godlewski said she will remain in the race despite two of her opponents exiting this week.
"I'm not changing," Godlewski said. "There's nothing new here. I've been running a 72-county campaign and I'm going to continue to do that."
Steven Olikara, founder and former CEO of the Millennial Action Project, is also running as a Democrat in the U.S. Senate race.
The primary is set for Aug. 9.