MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democrat Tom Nelson dropped out of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race on Monday and endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes ahead of next month’s primary.

Nelson announced his decision in a tweet.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Nelson explained to Local 5 News. “This campaign has been going for 21 months and I’m eternally grateful for everyone who’s joined our campaign. Currently, we’re being outspent 30 to 1 and at some point, it just gets pretty ridiculous and so after the decision to suspend the campaign, it came down to what to do next.”

Tom Nelson speaking to Local 5 News about his decision to suspend his campaign on July 25, 2022.
Tom Nelson speaking to Local 5 News about his decision to suspend his campaign on July 25, 2022.

Nelson endorsed Mandela Barnes following the suspension of his own.

“I think he’s the strongest candidate right now. If you break down the issues we certainly have more in common than what we don’t and I think that he’s earned it. He’s not trying to buy this election, he’s done it the hard way, the old-fashioned way. I think he’d make an excellent U.S. Senator,” added Nelson.

Nelson has trailed in polls behind front-runners Barnes, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. The Democrats are vying to take on U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who is seeking a third term.