Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMilwaukee alderwoman launches Senate bid Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes enters Senate race Press: Two big lies are harming America MORE (R-Wis.) said he may not be the best candidate for the 2022 midterms, ahead of what is expected to be a competitive Senate race in the Badger State.
“I want to make sure that this U.S. Senate seat is retained in Republican hands,” Johnson told conservative talk show host Lisa Boothe on Wednesday.
“You see what the media’s doing to me. I may not be the best candidate. I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win if I don’t think I was the best person to be able to win,” he continued.
Johnson went on to describe Washington as “incredibly frustrating,” citing what he was “dysfunction” within the political scene. The senator also revealed that he did not think his time on Capitol Hill has been “particularly successful,” pointing to issues that he campaigned on tackling, including rising debt and abolishing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The senator has yet to formally announce whether he is running or not. Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherOfficials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems Milwaukee alderwoman launches Senate bid There’s ‘something wrong with our bloody ships today’ MORE (R-Wis.), former Rep. Sean DuffySean DuffyMilwaukee alderwoman launches Senate bid Wisconsin Rep. Gallagher raises nearly 5K amid Senate speculation Rachel Campos-Duffy named co-host of Fox & Friends Weekend MORE (R-Wis.), former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, and Marine veteran and former Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson have been floated as potential GOP Senate candidates in the case that Johnson does not run.
Meanwhile, the race is heating up on the Democratic side of the race. Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis (D) became the latest Democrat to enter the primary on Wednesday, joining Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D), state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Wisconsin’s Senate seat could prove to be one of the most consequential of the 2022 midterms, given that Democrats and Republicans hold a 50-50 tie in the Senate with Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts Kamala Harris is right about how to deal with root causes of migration Texas Democrats pull worst publicity stunt — ever MORE serving as a tie-breaking vote.
The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss-up.”