Another GOP Senator Says He'll Postpone Retirement

Ron Johnson, who said he wouldn't seek a third term, cites Democratic 'takeover'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2022 11:05 AM CST
Ron Johnson Announces He Wants a Third Term
Sen. Ron Johnson, shown at the US Capitol last March, announced a reelection bid Sunday.   (Greg Nash/The Hill via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – For the second time in two days, a Republican senator on the edge of retiring has decided to instead run for reelection. Victory would bring Sen. Ron Johnson a third term; Johnson previously had told Wisconsin voters he would limit himself to two, WISN reports. Johnson acknowledged that in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, saying that though he'd still prefer to retire, he hadn't 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." South Dakota Sen. John Thune had announced a reelection bid on Saturday.

Johnson consistently has been an ally and defender of former President Donald Trump, who has pushed him to run again. In Wisconsin, Johnson's stances on COVID-19 and voter fraud issues have brought him criticism. He suggested last year that the state take over the federal election system, per NPR. Johnson has spoken highly of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as COVID treatments, which health officials dispute, per CNN, and wondered why a virus created by God would require a vaccine to stop it. And he's been dismissive of the attack on the Capitol, portraying it as a mostly peaceful protest.

Several Wisconsin Democrats are running, per Politico, including two statewide officeholders: Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. The party's state chair welcomed the incumbent to the race in a tweet Sunday. "Ron Johnson has spent years in the Senate looking out for himself at the expense of Wisconsinites and failing to do the job he was elected to do," Ben Wikler posted, "and it's time to face the consequences." Democrats hold all of the statewide offices, and President Biden narrowly carried Wisconsin in 2020. (Read more Ron Johnson stories.)

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