Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced Sunday that he’ll run for reelection, after months of hypothesis round his doable retirement.
“It’s not a choice I’ve made calmly,” Johnson mentioned in his assertion.
“When re-election just isn’t your major motivation, these are simple guarantees to maintain — and I’ve faithfully accomplished so. That angle is comparatively distinctive in Washington, and it might be one cause why many respect having me concerned within the nationwide debate,” he mentioned.
Johnson, who was an government at a household plastics firm earlier than entering into politics in 2010, rode into the Senate on the tea occasion 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 mentioned his 2016 run could be his final.
In an opinion piece within the Wall Road Journal Sunday morning, Johnson mentioned 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 Massive 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 mentioned 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 absolutely adopted Trump’s Republican Social gathering.
When Trump downplayed COVID-19, Johnson questioned the seriousness of the illness as effectively. 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 just 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 rather more scared had they been Black Lives Matter protesters. He mentioned he “didn’t really feel threatened” by the lethal riot.
In a single New York Occasions article, some Wisconsin Republicans known as 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 finally destroyed the livelihood of many. McCarthy, who had an acrimonious relationship with a lot of his Senate colleagues, was finally censured. Johnson dismissed the comparisons in an interview with The New York Occasions.
“Having already skilled a rising degree of vitriol and false assaults, I definitely don’t count on higher remedy sooner or later,” Johnson mentioned 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 in the beginning of the election yr. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chair of the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee, mentioned in August that he anticipated Johnson to run once more.
Johnson had additionally hinted that this could be the case, saying his “desire” could be to retire from the Senate however that he was “panicked for the course of this nation.”
Johnson has turn into a simple punching bag for Democrats in Wisconsin, who not solely try to flip his seat but additionally maintain management of the state’s governorship. Democrats have a big discipline of candidates operating to be their nominee, and the pack is presently led by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and state treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
“Whether or not he was manipulating the GOP tax rip-off invoice to counterpoint himself and his greatest political donors, attempting drive up well being care prices and rip away protections for pre-existing situations, or failing to crack down on China’s illicit financial practices and firms that outsource our jobs, Johnson has confirmed time and again he’s solely ever targeted on serving himself,” Democratic Social gathering of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler mentioned in a press release.
Democrats throughout the nation face a tricky 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.