Jan 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson to run for re-election

Photo: Alex Brandon/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced Sunday he will seek re-election, after initially mulling over whether to retire at the end of his second term.

Why it matters: Johnson, 66, had previously said he would only serve two terms. His decision to seek re-election comes as Republicans eye control of the Senate in 2023. Senate Minority Whip John Thune, who had also considered retiring, announced Saturday that he will run again.

  • The Wisconsin Republican wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that his decision to seek a third term was not "made lightly," adding that much "as I’d like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don’t feel I should."

The big picture: The Senate race in Wisconsin is set to be among the tightest in the country, the New York Times notes. Democrats challenging Johnson include Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, state treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Outagamie County executive Tom Nelson.

What they're saying: "Today, I am announcing I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election," Johnson told the Wall Street Journal in an essay announcing his re-election.

  • "This is a fight for freedom," he added. "This is not someone else’s fight, this is our fight, and it’s a fight we absolutely must win."
  • "We face powerful forces that desire even more power and control over our lives. Their path, paved with false hope and greater dependency, always leads to tyranny. We cannot let them win."
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