MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski dropped out of the state’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary Friday, the third candidate to bow out this week, making Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes the all-but the presumptive nominee to face Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
Godlewski’s decision to leave the race came after Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson dropped out Monday and Barnes’ top rival, Alex Lasry, followed suit Wednesday. Godlewski and Nelson had been trailing Barnes and Lasry by double digits in public polling.
Several lower-tier candidates remain in the Aug. 9 primary, and even those who dropped out will still be on the ballot. In-person absentee voting began this week.
Godlewski, the only woman in the race, had made fighting for abortion rights the center of her campaign. But she said she was ending her candidacy and backing Barnes because it would help the overriding goal of knocking off Johnson, a two-term incumbent and close ally of former President Donald Trump.
“It’s clear that if we want to finally send Ron Johnson packing, we must all get behind Mandela Barnes and fight together,” Godlewski said.
She was scheduled to appear with Barnes to announce her decision on Friday morning.