As you probably know by now, state Senator Chris Larson has ended his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin held by Ron Johnson. Larson simultaneously endorsed the next most progressive candidate in the race, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
"Mandela," wrote Larson, "is the remaining candidate who Wisconsinites can most trust to fight hard in the Senate for bold progressive policies that benefit working families-- ideas like Medicare For All, a job-creating Green New Deal to grow Wisconsin’s economy, and paying for those big ideas by making the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share."
He decided to encourage his supporters to support Mandela in the name of "progressive unity," a blow to pretend progressives Sarah Godlewski and Tom Nelson. Larson wrote that he "will do everything I can to ensure he is our nominee, and I will work hard to ensure all Democrats on the ballot are successful in November of 2022. We must do all we can to unrig the system so it works for everyone, "not just"-- a dig at Godlewski and Alex Lasry-- "the ultra-wealthy and Wall Street, and stop the creep of fascism in America."
He talked about the problem that has contributed to progressives losing to conservative Democrats in other races. "With so many candidates in this Democratic primary, progressive power was being split and diluted. With my candidacy now over, it’s clear which candidate will fight hardest to ensure opportunity for all Wisconsinites, regardless of their zip code. I will continue to work hard in the state Senate to protect public education, expand health coverage, preserve our environment, and restore our democracy. Make no mistake, with today’s Republican Party, all of these things are under serious threat... It’s not enough to just be better than Putin’s puppet, Ron Johnson. That’s a low bar. It’s about what we need to do to build a better community, state, and nation where we treat each other as neighbors, not as adversaries... I will continue the fight for our shared values in the state Senate and on the campaign trail for Mandela Barnes."
Barnes has been endorsed by congresswomen Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Nikema Williams (D-GA), by fellow lieutenant governor and Senate candidate John Fetterman (D-PA) and by PCCC, the Wisconsin Working Families Party and DFA.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Larson will run for re-election to his state Senate seat next year and that "he has no plans to run for lieutenant governor and dismissed any political chatter that he was considering a possible candidacy."