2 Republicans in AP: Wisconsin Sen. Johnson running for a 3rd term

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, has decided to run for a third term, two Republicans told The Associated Press on Friday knowing the plan. .

Johnson has been coy about his intentions for months, but recently indicated he would announce his decision soon. Republicans aware of his plans have not been allowed by Johnson to speak publicly about his intentions, but have said he could make an announcement as early as next week. Johnson did not return a text message or phone call asking for comment.

A Johnson candidacy would avoid a widely open GOP primary in the tightly divided swing state.

Johnson pledged in 2016 not to run for the third time, but he rescinded that pledge and started running again for months, saying circumstances changed when Democrats took full control of Congress and the White House.

Johnson, 66, has long said he prefers to retire after two terms.

Even with Johnson in the race, Wisconsin is up for grabs with majority control of the Senate at stake. President Joe Biden won the state by less than 21,000 votes after Trump’s equally slim victory in 2016.

Still, Republicans have reason to be optimistic about regaining control of the Senate 50-50. The party that does not hold the White House usually wins seats in the midterm legislative elections. Former President Barack Obama‘s Democratic Party, for example, lost 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate in 2010.

Johnson left the Tea Party movement in 2010, defeating U.S. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold that year and in 2016. Johnson has long been aligned with Trump’s tough policies and politics. He led the investigation to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, and rarely broke with Trump’s White House.

Johnson became one of Trump’s loudest supporters in 2020, particularly after his electoral defeat, and that support continued after the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Johnson held a hearing during which unfounded conspiracy theories of widespread election fraud were given a platform. He also espoused the Capitol Raid conspiracy theories that attempted to blame Trump supporters for what happened.

Just before the Capitol was stormed a year ago, Johnson opposed the Arizona Electoral College vote count.

Trump endorsed Johnson in April and encouraged him to run.

Johnson’s position angered many Tories in Wisconsin. The state’s two largest newspapers in Milwaukee and Madison have called for his resignation.

Johnson has been a strong voice for unproven COVID-19 treatments, and he has accused the medical establishment and health agencies of failing to explore and promote the use of relatively inexpensive drugs previously approved for other uses as early interventions against the coronavirus.

Democrats in the running include Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes; Alex Lasry, manager of the Milwaukee Bucks; State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski; Outagamie County Director Tom Nelson; and Steven Olikara, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Millennial Action Project.

“Wisconsin voters will appreciate the opportunity to fire Ron Johnson, who has used his Senate power to enrich himself and his wealthiest donors at the expense of the middle class,” said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler.

Many would-be Republican candidates waited for Johnson before deciding to run. Former US Representative Sean Duffy announced this week that he is not running for the Senate or Governor. Former Navy Kevin Nicholson, who lost a Republican Senate primary in 2018, has said he will run for governor if Johnson seeks re-election.

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