Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson is expected to run for reelection and kick off his campaign next week, according to a source familiar with his decision.
For months, the incumbent Republican declined to say whether he would seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. He is one of former President Donald Trump’s staunchest allies in the chamber.
Johnson was first elected to the office in 2010 as part of the Tea Party wave that swept across the country during the midterm elections. He once pledged to only serve two terms in the U.S. Senate but told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month that he was facing pressure to run again in 2022.
“I never anticipated the importance of continuing to uncover the corruption,” Johnson said. “But also just this moment, right here, this is crucial that Republicans retain this Senate seat and I think just about everybody I talk to says I probably have the best chance of doing that. And that puts a fair amount of pressure on me to do that. No, I mean, look, when I made that pledge, when my wife (Jane) and I made that pledge, that was our very strong preference.”
Representatives for Johnson have not yet responded to a request for comment.
“I’m not ready to say anything,” Johnson told CNN.
Wisconsin will be one of the most competitive and expensive U.S. Senate races later this year. Several high-profile Democrats are vying for the chance to take on Johnson, including, Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and , who is on leave from his role as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Johnson’s relentless attacks on working families, health care, and the bedrock principles of American democracy disqualify him from a third term, and his presence on the ballot will ensure that voters turn out in record numbers to defeat Republicans at every level,” Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Ben Wikler said in a statement.
Johnson defeated former Democratic Senator Russ Feingold in both the 2010 and 2016 elections. Wisconsin will also have a closely watched governor’s race during this year’s midterm elections.