Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson has dropped out of the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin to face incumbent GOP Senator Ron Johnson and endorsed his Democratic primary opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Fourth in the polls, Nelson admitted that his campaign “ran out of money.”
Seeking to consolidate the progressive vote, Nelson released a statement saying, “Mandela can now count on me to be on his side every step of the way. I urge other Democratic primary voters to also support him now as well.”
The former Wisconsin State Assemblyman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“It didn’t look like we were in a strong position. It made sense to consolidate the progressive vote, which we did.”
Today I am suspending my campaign for the U.S. Senate. I am so thankful for the work that we have done and the movement we have built.
On August 9th, Wisconsin will choose a progressive champion to be our nominee. Let's go @TheOtherMandela! pic.twitter.com/K6YdF8TDag
— Tom Nelson (@NelsonforWI) July 25, 2022
Despite being the frontrunner, Barnes still has a tough primary ahead. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry has dropped $12 million to give himself a boost – closing the race between Barnes, Wisconsin’s first black lieutenant governor, and himself, the son of a billionaire.
With just two weeks before the August 9th primary, Nelson’s endorsement could be just what Lt. Gov. Barnes needs to keep Lasry – and his money – at bay and give Democrats one of their best chances to beat the incumbent, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
A loyal Trump ally, Sen. Johnson joined seven fellow Republicans who spent the Fourth of July 2018 in Moscow – the day after the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded there was Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Reuters.
One of 10 Republican Senators who signed a statement denouncing the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden, the Jan. 6 Select committee hearings revealed that Johnson’s chief of staff attempted to hand deliver a slate of fake electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence.
Questioned by Undercurrent reporter Lauren Windsor about his knowledge of the false electors, the unrelenting journalist got the Senator to admit he played a role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. According to Johnson, “I had a two-minute role.
A June 2022 Marquette Law School poll showed Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes beating the Republican Senator by two points. Barnes is not only leading in the Democratic primary but she is the only candidate beating Johnson in polls among Independent voters.
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