Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski has suspended her campaign for U.S. Senate, making her the third candidate to drop out of the Democratic primary this week.
On Monday, Tom Nelson dropped out of the race and endorsed Mandela Barnes. Two days later, on Wednesday, Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry dropped out of the race and and endorsed Barnes. Today, Friday, Godlewski traveled to a child care center in Fitchburg and announced that she is dropped out of the race and is also endorsing Barnes. These exits leave Barnes with a clear path to face Republican Senator Ron Johnson in the fall general election.
Godlewski’s remarks, as delivered, are below:
SARAH: “Thank you so much for being here today. I started my campaign a little over a year ago with the intent of defeating Ron Johnson. That has not changed except for how we are going to do it. As a mom, I think about our kids as we are right here in a childcare center and about how critical their future is. As a western Wisconsinite, I think about how we have to do right by everybody across the entire state. And also, as a woman, I think about what we’ve got to do to make sure we restore a woman’s right to choose.
“But the bottom line is, I’m a ‘tell it how it is’ person. And I take a very common sense approach. I know that right now, what we have to do is we have to get behind Mandela Barnes to defeat Ron Johnson. And that is exactly what we’re going to do.
“But I also want to say something to the supporters and to the women and girls who have called me and sent me text messages, and are so worried about their rights as they are seeing Ron Johnson say that they cannot make their own healthcare decisions. I will tell you, I will never back down from that fight. But I know the first step to get us there is electing Mandela Barnes, who actually cares about this issue.
“Mandela and I actually share a very common background. We are products of two school teachers; we are also products of a union family. And I will tell you growing up in union families, Mandela and I have both learned never to back down from a fight, not even a tough one. And we know this isn’t going to be easy, but you know what, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“Whether we’re talking about a woman’s right to choose — Ron Johnson is telling half our population that they should just move if they want to get their rights back — to literally looking right here at this child care facility where we know 54% of our state is in a childcare desert. And what does Ron Johnson say? It’s not society’s problem to take care of our kids. Or as we look at the price of gas and prescription drugs. Well, Ron Johnson has given himself and his wealthy donors tax cuts.
“I will tell you something that I know from working with Mandela over the past four years: no one will fight harder. He will be in the trenches, he will fight for working families, because it’s exactly who he is as a person. But he also knows I say all the time, ‘we only win by two to three votes per precinct’ — the State Treasurer in me coming out. And we win those votes by working together. That’s why I’m so glad to stand here endorsing Mandela, because I know that we can defeat him.
“I also just want to say that I am really proud of the 72-county campaign that we launched across this state. Growing up in Eau Claire, my parents always said, ‘when you see something wrong, you stand up and you do something about it.’ I would not be here without the values that my parents Dave and Ann have taught me. I’m so grateful for that.
“I also just want to thank my husband, Max. You can imagine running for statewide office as a mother of a two and a half year old, it’s not easy. I would not be able to do this without his endless support and love and taking care of our two and a half year old when I’m on the road and traveling across the state. I also want to thank my little cheese curd Hartley, for being my inspiration to run for office. And making sure that it’s a brighter future for the next generation.
“I also just want to thank our amazing staff, and volunteers who are all here today. This is the best experience of my life. We would have never made it this far without your commitment and support along the way. And I also just want to finally say thank you to the people of Wisconsin. You took a risk by electing me in 2018 as a political nobody. You took a risk at making sure that I would step up and do what was right when it came to saving the State Treasurer’s Office, and I’m here because of you. So I just want to thank the state, and [say] it has been the honor of a lifetime serving as State Treasurer and running for the U.S Senate. And with that, I know we got to do this, Mandela. November 8th is going to be here before we know it. And we’re stronger when we do this together. So with that, I want to send it over to my friend, our next U.S. Senator, Mandela Barnes.”