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Larson Out Of US Senate Primary Race, Backs Barnes

State Sen. Chris Larson
Chris Larson's campaign website
State Sen. Chris Larson

Wisconsin state Sen. Chris Larson is withdrawing from the Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate and throwing his support behind Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

The two-term Republican incumbent, Ron Johnson, has not yet indicated whether he's going to run again.

“Mandela is the candidate who is best positioned to defeat Ron Johnson and who Wisconsinites can most trust to fight hard in the Senate for bold progressive policies that benefit working families,” Larson said in a statement.

Larson, from Milwaukee, is up for re-election next year in the state Senate, but did not indicate what path he will take politically. Because Barnes is running for U.S. Senate, there's an opening for lieutenant governor on the ticket with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Larson hasn't been able to raise the amount of funds he was likely hoping for with $20,000 cash on hand at the end of June. He reported raising $51,000 during the second quarter.

There is no lack of interest by Democrats willing to take on Johnson if he decides to run.

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Alex Lasry, on leave as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, Wausau radiologist Gillian Battino and Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis are also in the race.

The primary is Aug. 9, 2022.

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