The Johnson from Wisconsin
Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, announced Sunday in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that he will run for a third term in 2022.
Johnson, who first won election in the Senate in 2010 as part of that year's Tea Party wave, said in 2016 that his second term would be his last. "That was my strong preference, and my wife's — we both looked forward to a normal private life," he wrote. "Neither of us anticipated the Democrats' complete takeover of government."
He agreed to run only after what The New York Times called "an intense lobbying campaign from Republicans in both Wisconsin and Washington" who feared that, if Johnson stepped down, his seat could be lost. Twelve Democrats are already vying for the chance to unseat him.
The New York Times described Johnson as "the Senate's leading purveyor of misinformation about elections and the coronavirus pandemic," drawing attention to Johnson's claims that gargling with mouthwash could prevent COVID and that the Jan. 6 riot was instigated by "fake Trump supporters."
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who drew Trump's ire when he refused to help the former president overturn the 2020 election, announced Saturday that he also plans to run for re-election in 2022.
Five other Republican senators have announced their retirement. Republicans are favored to re-take the House in 2022, but the fate of the evenly divided Senate remains unclear.