Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced Sunday that he’ll run for reelection, after months of hypothesis round his attainable retirement.
“It’s not a call I’ve made flippantly,” Johnson stated in his assertion.
“When re-election is just not your major motivation, these are straightforward guarantees to maintain — and I’ve faithfully finished so. That angle is comparatively distinctive in Washington, and it might be one purpose why many respect having me concerned within the nationwide debate,” he stated.
Johnson, who was an government at a household plastics firm earlier than entering into politics in 2010, rode into the Senate on the tea celebration wave and defeated sitting Democrat Russ Feingold. He beat Feingold as soon as once more in 2016, when Donald Trump narrowly gained Wisconsin within the presidential election. He stated his 2016 run can be his final.
In an opinion piece within the Wall Street Journal Sunday morning, Johnson stated he determined to renege on that assertion as a result of he feels “America is in peril.”
“Numerous folks have inspired me to run, saying they depend on me to be their voice, to talk plain and apparent truths different elected leaders shirk from expressing ― truths the elite in authorities, mainstream media and Large Tech don’t need you to listen to,” Johnson wrote.
He has lengthy been among the many extra conservative members of the Senate: He has stated he doesn’t consider in local weather change or international warming, has strict anti-immigration views and has lengthy fought to dismantle Obamacare.
Over the final 5 years, he has additionally totally adopted Trump’s Republican Social gathering.
When Trump downplayed COVID-19, Johnson questioned the seriousness of the illness as properly. He unfold conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines and refused to get one himself, and likewise known as for extra analysis into debunked remedies like hydroxychloroquine.
The senator additionally refused to simply accept the 2020 election outcomes, and continues to name on Wisconsin Republicans to take over the elections system. He has defended Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, saying they have been individuals who “love this nation” and that he would have been far more scared had they been Black Lives Matter protesters. He stated he “didn’t really feel threatened” by the lethal riot.
In a single New York Occasions article, some Wisconsin Republicans called him a modern-day Joe McCarthy, the late Republican senator from Wisconsin who staged the nationwide witch hunt for communists within the Nineteen Fifties — dubbed “McCarthyism” — that in the end destroyed the livelihood of many. McCarthy, who had an acrimonious relationship with a lot of his Senate colleagues, was in the end censured. Johnson dismissed the comparisons in an interview with The New York Times.
“Having already skilled a rising degree of vitriol and false assaults, I actually don’t count on higher therapy sooner or later,” Johnson stated in his assertion saying his Senate run.
Republicans have been holding out hope that Johnson would search reelection, saving them the difficulty of discovering one other candidate at first of the election yr. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chair of the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee, said in August that he expected Johnson to run again.
Johnson had additionally hinted that this is able to be the case, saying his “desire” can be to retire from the Senate however that he was “panicked for the path of this nation.”
Johnson has grow to be a simple punching bag for Democrats in Wisconsin, who’re attempting not solely to flip his seat but additionally preserve management of the state’s governorship. Democrats have a big discipline of candidates working to be their nominee, and the pack is at present led by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
“Whether or not he was manipulating the GOP tax rip-off invoice to complement himself and his largest political donors, attempting to drive up well being care prices and rip away protections for pre-existing circumstances, or failing to crack down on China’s illicit financial practices and firms that outsource our jobs, Johnson has confirmed again and again he’s solely ever centered on serving himself,” Democratic Social gathering of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler stated in a press release.
Democrats throughout the nation face a troublesome election yr in 2022. However they hope Johnson has the identical impact on Wisconsin’s extra suburban Republicans as Trump did in 2020, when Joe Biden narrowly gained the state.