State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is ending her U.S. Senate campaign and endorsing Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

At a Friday press conference with Godlewski in Fitchberg, Barnes said the Democratic primary has made him a better candidate. “You know nothing about this was easy for anybody who got in the race and I do think that primaries ultimately make candidates stronger I’m proud to have even been in this race with you I think ultimately it has made me a better candidate.”

Godlewski had initially said she’d stay in the race, following announcements earlier in the week from Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson and Bucks executive Alex Lasry, that they were suspending their campaigns and endorsing Barnes. But by Friday she’d reconsidered. “For me it was something that I reflected on within literally the last 24 hours. And I know that we’re better when we all come together, and that’s why for me it was pretty immediate.”

The departure of Godlewski, Nelson and Lasry clears the way for Barnes in the August 9 primary election, since the remaining Democrats are barely registering in polls. Barnes hopes to defeat Republican Senator Ron Johnson in November. Johnson is seeking a third term.

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