Alex Lasry drops out of U.S. Senate primary race, endorses Mandela Barnes

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry suspended his campaign for U.S. Senate Wednesday, becoming the second Democrat to drop out of the race this week.

During an event outside Fiserv Forum Wednesday afternoon, Lasry announced he was dropping out and endorsing Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who has consistently polled at the top of the Democratic primary race.

“I want to call on all Democrats from all over the state to come together and make sure that we’re able to unite around not just making sure that Mandela defeats Ron Johnson but making sure that we re-elect Tony Evers, Josh Kaul and Democrats up and down the ballot,” Lasry said.

On Twitter, Lasry wrote the “stakes are just too high to wait.”

“The single best thing we can do for Wisconsin—and for America—is to beat Ron Johnson, and that must start now,” he tweeted.

In a statement, Barnes said he was proud to have Lasry’s endorsement.

“Throughout this race I have always been proud to call Alex a friend. I look forward to continuing that friendship as we hit the trail. Together, we are going to unite Wisconsinites from every corner of the state to defeat Ron Johnson,” Barnes said.

Lasry told the Associated Press that he believes Barnes will win the Democratic primary, based on the data he’s seen. He also told the AP he dropped out of the race after consulting with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin on Tuesday night.

Wednesday’s news was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Lasry reportedly spent more than $12 million on his campaign. The Associated Press confirmed the report.

RELATED: Tom Nelson suspends campaign for Senate, endorses Mandela Barnes

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson suspended his campaign on Monday and also endorsed Barnes.

Lasry dropped out of the race less than two weeks from the August 9 primary that will decide who will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in the November election. He first announced his run in February as one of the first candidates to jump into the race, following Nelson.

Speaking at a get-out-the-vote event on the UW-Madison campus, State Treasurer and Senate hopeful Sarah Godlewski said “there’s nothing new here” when asked if she would stay in the race.

“To me, it’s always been about defeating Ron Johnson and who’s the best candidate to do that,” she said. “That’s why I’m in this race, and I’ve got the record to prove it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.