State Sen. Chris Larson drops out of U.S. Senate race, endorses Mandela Barnes

Democratic Wisconsin State Sen. Larson Enters Us Senate Race
Andy Manis

FILE - Wisconsin Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, addresses delegates at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin convention in Lake Delton, Wis., in this Friday, June 6, 2014, file photo. Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson, of Milwaukee, is preparing to join an already crowded field of candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Larson filed paperwork for a run on Tuesday and was expected to announce his candidacy as soon as Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin state senator Chris Larson’s short-lived run for U.S. Senate is ending as he is endorsing another Democrat in the race.

Larson is backing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, he announced in a joint statement with Barnes Tuesday morning.

“While I won’t be the candidate who takes on Ron Johnson next fall, I remain as committed as ever to assuring his defeat and electing Democrats who will fight for progressive values up and down the ballot in 2022,” Larson said.

Larson joined the race in late May with a video titled “Let’s Unrig the System.”

Barnes officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate on July 20, becoming the 7th Democrat at the time to enter the race. If elected, he would become the first-ever Black senator from Wisconsin.

“I want to thank Sen. Larson for his support, and for the values and dedication to the people of Wisconsin that he brings to his work as a public servant,” Barnes said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him, and leaders across the state as we continue our fight for opportunity for every Wisconsin family, regardless of Zip code.”

Johnson has yet to announce whether he is running for re-election in 2022. Despite that, he has out-fundraised every potential Democratic challenger to date, including Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry.