MILWAUKEE — Democratic Senate candidate Steven Olikara picked up a key endorsement Tuesday from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
"I am deeply grateful for this endorsement," said Olikara, who faces seven other challengers in the Aug. 9 primary to take on Republican Ron Johnson in the fall.
Yang dropped out of the 2020 presidential race after finishing with one percent in the Iowa caucus. His signature policy during the campaign was a “Freedom Dividend” that included a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every American over the age of 18.
Yang developed a strong following among younger voters known as the 'Yang Gang.'
"With 21st-century solutions and pragmatic policies like term limits, nonpartisan primaries and ranked-choice voting, Steven will bring a real voice to all Wisconsinites," Yang said in a statement.
Getting big-name endorsements can be critical to campaigns - especially in competitive races.
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes has key endorsements in his Senate primary race from former presidential candidates Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Cory Booker.
Early into his Senate campaign, Alex Lasry won the endorsement of Milwaukee County Executive David Crawly and now Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson.
State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski lists organizations like the National Organization for Women PAC and Emily's List among her key endorsements.
Tom Nelson, the County Executive from Outagamie County, includes former Wisconsin Governor Tony Earl and the United Steelworkers Local 2-144.
Democratic Senate candidates Kou Lee and Darrell Williams did not list any endorsements on their web page. Peter Peckarsky listed Milwaukee Community Organizer and mentor Andre Lee Ellis.
All eight Senate candidates spoke at the state Democratic Convention in La Crosse over the weekend.