Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on Sunday announced he will run for reelection in 2022, opting against his 2016 suggestion that he would only serve two terms in office.
“During the 2016 campaign, I said it would be my last campaign and final term,” Johnson said Sunday. “That was my strong preference, and my wife’s– we both looked forward to a normal private life.”
But Johnson, a key ally of former President Donald Trump while he was in office, said that neither he nor his wife had “anticipated the Democrats’ complete takeover of government and the disastrous policies they have already inflicted on America and the world, to say nothing of those they threaten to enact in the future.
“Nor did we anticipate the pandemic, the government’s failed response to it, the loss of freedom that has resulted, and the tyrannical approach taken by the elites who have created and maintained a state of fear that allows them to exercise control over Americans’ lives,” Johnson continued. “Instead of everyone working to achieve the goal President Biden stated during his inaugural address–unifying and healing America–it feels as if our nation is being torn apart.”
Because “America is in peril,” Johnson announced that “I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for reelection. It is a decision I haven’t made lightly.”
The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC ), in a statement, endorsed Johnson’s Senate campaign.
“Sen. Ron Johnson is a good friend and a fierce colleague who’s not afraid to stand up for what’s right,” said NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). “He is a tireless advocate for small businesses and the hardworking people of Wisconsin.
“He brings commonsense solutions to the Senate and always fights to protect and defend the security of our homeland and our priorities abroad, and deeply cares about the betterment of his state.”
For Wisconsin’s Senate seat, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, county executive Tom Nelson, and radiologist Gillian Battino, among others, are running in the Democratic primary.
Johnson’s statement comes a day after Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.C.) announced he would seek reelection for his Senate seat.
Democrats currently have control of the 50–50 Senate with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Some Republicans have expressed optimism about regaining control of the 50–50 Senate, as the party that doesn’t hold White House generally gains seats in midterm elections. For example, former President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party lost about 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate in 2010.
Johnson was among those six GOP senators who won during the 2010 Republican midterm wave.