By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has emerged as the clear favorite in what had been a crowded Democratic field seeking to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, as his nearest rival dropped out and threw his support behind Barnes. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry dropped out of the race Wednesday. Other Democrats remain in the Aug. 9 primary. Polls showed Lasry had been running tight with Barnes. But Lasry told The Associated Press that Barnes pulled ahead in recent weeks and there was no way he could catch him in the hotly contested primary for what is expected to be one of the most hard-fought Senate races this year.
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