Tom Nelson, a former state legislator and current executive of Outagamie County, announced this week on Twitter that he has decided to end his campaign for U.S. Senate and endorse Mandela Barnes for the Democratic nomination. In a subsequent tweet explaining his decision, Nelson said “We ran out of money. So I am suspending our campaign and endorsing the one candidate who is not trying to buy this election: #TeamMandela.” Nelson went on to post a video in which he says “the progressive vote is consolidated, and the progressive family is one.”

Nelson’s decision comes on the heels of the second quarter financial reporting deadline for candidates that showed Nelson significantly trailing his Democratic counterparts in fundraising. Nelson reported raising $227,464, spending $535,560, and having $241,666 cash on hand at the end of Q2. Barnes, meanwhile, raised $2.1 million, spent almost $2.3 million and had almost $1.5 million cash on hand; Lasry raised $2.1 million, spent nearly $2.3 million and had nearly $1.5 million in the bank; Godlewski raised almost $1.6 million, spent $2.7 million and had $464,578 cash on hand at the end of the quarter. Alluding to the wide disparity in cash, Nelson tweeted that “After we defeat Johnson, we’ll work to get big money out of politics so the next underdog candidate has a better shot & we’ll have a Senate [with] fewer millionaires & more working class kids like those from the 53206 zip code in Milwaukee or from Carol Lynn Drive in Little Chute.” In response to Nelson’s exit, Mandela Barnes stated, “I deeply respect Tom Nelson’s commitment to the working people in this state and I’m thankful for his endorsement…It will take all of us coming together in every corner of this state to beat Ron Johnson.”

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