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Wisconsin Republican Senator. Ron Johnson will run for re-election – Twin Cities

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of President Donald Trump’s biggest supporters, announced Sunday that he will seek re-election in the battleground state, broke his promise not to seek a third term.

Johnson announced his decision via email two days after several Republicans who learned of his decision told the Associated Press he was about to launch a bid. Johnson has over the past year been a leading voice in downplaying the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots and the coronavirus pandemic, plus he remains a staunch Trump supporter.

The race is sure to be one of the hottest in the nation next year in purple Wisconsin. President Joe Biden won the state with less than 21,000 votes in 2020 following Trump’s similarly narrow victory in 2016. Johnson won nearly 5 points in 2010, his first race for office. and then by just over 3 points in 2016. Both times he beat Democrat Russ Feingold.

Johnson’s announcement that he will run for re-election comes a day after Republican Senator John Thune, of South Dakota, said he would seek a fourth term. No other senate is likely to retire other than five Republicans and one Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who announced plans to step down.

Johnson, 66, has long said his preference is to serve only two terms and pledged in 2016 not to run for re-election for a third time.

But Johnson rescinded the pledge before announcing his re-election bid, saying the situation changed after Democrats won the White House and control of Congress.

“Sometimes I want to retire in peace, but I don’t feel I should,” Johnson wrote in an editorial announcing his re-election bid. He said the response to the coronavirus pandemic also contributed to his decision to run again.

Johnson, who contracted COVID-19 in October 2020 and was unvaccinated, cast doubt on the vaccine’s effectiveness and promoted unproven treatments. Just last week, Johnson on conservative talk radio said: “Why do we think we can create something better than God in terms of fighting disease? Why do we assume that the body’s natural immune system is not the miracle it really is? “

Johnson has endorsed conspiracy theories related to last year’s raid on the Capitol, attempting to place blame for what happened to Trump supporters.

Johnson has since downplayed the violence, saying it “doesn’t seem to me like an armed uprising”.

Just before the U.S. Capitol was hit by a hurricane a year ago, Johnson protested the Electoral College vote count from Arizona. Last year, he told Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature that they should take control of federal elections. Republican Wisconsin Congressional Speaker Robin Vos told the AP on Friday that there was “no chance” the Legislature would take over awarding the state’s 10 electoral votes in 2024.

Johnson said he did not take the decision to run for re-election lightly.

“Having experienced increasing levels of vitriol and sham attacks, I certainly don’t expect better treatment in the future,” he said in his announcement.

Johnson says he never voted for re-election in mind.

“An extension of that promise is that I am not worried about being re-elected,” he wrote. “When getting re-elected isn’t your main motivation, those are easy promises to make – and I’ve faithfully kept them.”

Johnson’s opponent will not be known this time until after an August 9 primary. Several well-known and well-funded Democrats are running, including Lieutenant General Mandela Barnes, who is seeking how to become the state’s first black senator; Alex Lasry, chief executive officer of the Milwaukee Bucks; State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

“The only people celebrating Ron Johnson’s announcement were his sponsors and the corporate special interest groups he has underwritten again and again,” Barnes said in a statement. . “Let’s get to work and retire this failed senator.”

Barnes, Godlewski, Nelson and other Democrats blamed Johnson for breaking his promise to serve only two terms.

Johnson’s decision also had an adverse effect on Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race. Kevin Nicholson, a former Marine who ran for the US Senate and lost the GOP primaries in 2018, has said he would run for governor if Johnson sought re-election.

Nicholson was focused on running for the Senate. His website urges supporters to “help Kevin get Washington back.” In a series of tweets on Sunday, Nicholson said it was no secret that he was considering running for governor and would announce his decision soon.

Earlier this week, former US Representative Sean Duffy bowed his head not to run for Senate or governor.

History is on Johnson’s side in the midterm elections. The party that doesn’t hold the White House usually wins seats in midterm congressional elections. For example, President Barack Obama’s Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats in 2010.

Johnson, who broke out of the tea party movement in 2010, has long been in line with Trump’s hardline policies and politics. The two remained close after Trump’s defeat, with Trump in April endorsing Johnson for a third term and encouraging him to run for office.

https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/09/wisconsin-republican-sen-ron-johnson-will-seek-reelection/ Wisconsin Republican Senator. Ron Johnson will run for re-election – Twin Cities

Yasmin Harisha

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