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Sen. Ron Johnson still undecided on re-election

Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, speaking at an event in Black River Falls, Wis.
Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, speaking at an event in Black River Falls, Wis.(Max Cotton)
Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - There was plenty on the agenda at the Jackson County Republican Party’s Freedom Breakfast at Skyline Golf Course Saturday morning.

Taking the spotlight, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin.

One thing he discussed, whether he’ll seek a third term in 2022.

Despite raising more than $1 million in the last quarter according to Federal Election Commission reports, more than any of his potential Democratic challengers, Johnson said he doesn’t have a timeline for when he’ll announce his plans.

“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that whoever runs, whether it’s me or somebody else, has got the best chance of winning and retaining the seat in Republican hands because of really what’s happening in this country and really the threat that Democrats in power pose to our freedoms,” he said.

“Whether Ron Johnson runs or not, the Democrats in Wisconsin are intent on taking back this seat,” State Rep. Jodi Emerson, D-Eau Claire, said.

Emerson, who’s already endorsed State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski in the 2022 Democratic primary for the seat, said if Johnson does run, there are plenty of good Democratic candidates to challenge him.

Emerson added Johnson’s out of touch with Wisconsin voters.

“Wisconsin’s a 50-50 state but somehow Ron Johnson only represents the views of the very fringe right wing,” she said.

“I’m just talking about issues that I think really affect Wisconsinites and Americans,” Johnson said. “I’m just telling the truth. And I will challenge anyone that talks about me being a conspiracy theorist or somebody spreading misinformation, actually tell me, what its I’m saying that’s not true.”

One issue that’s gotten Johnson into hot water in recent months is the COVID-19 vaccine. He’s been outspoken defending people who choose not to get vaccinated.

Johnson also said because he’s already had COVID-19, he feels his natural immunity against the virus means he doesn’t need to get the vaccine.

He added he’s not opposed to people choosing to get vaccinated.

“I was a champion of Right to Try, which allows Americans the freedom to choose to take advantage of a drug or a therapy that’s not fully FDA approved, which is exactly what the COVID vaccine is, it’s under Emergency Use Authorization,” Johnson said. “So I actually have respect for Americans to be able to make that decision themselves and all I’ve been asking the agencies is be transparent.”

Emerson said with COVID-19 variants making people sick, eligible people choosing not to get vaccinated is dangerous.

“The vast majority of the deaths that are happening and the hospitalizations that are happening are in people who aren’t vaccinated,” she said.

Emerson said she finds Johnson’s vaccine stance ironic since he championed Right to Try legislation.

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