With the 2020 election just days away, Democrats are already making plans for the 2022 midterms with an eye on taking out Republican senators who closely allied themselves with Donald Trump, figuring voters memories of the Trump years will still be a potent reason to get out and vote.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has already been targeted, reports Politico, over his close ties to the current president as well as his participation in promoting conspiracy theories linked to Russian propaganda.
According to the report, "Democrat Tom Nelson, Outagamie county executive and a former state Assembly majority leader, has officially launched his bid for the 2022 Senate race," which makes him the first of what is expected to be many Democratic challengers lining up to take a shot at Johnson.
Johnson, a former businessman who is in his second term, has not yet stated whether he will run again, but that doesn't mean the knives are not already out for him.
"Other Democrats whose names are already circulating as possible candidates include Milwaukee Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry, who also served as the Democratic National Convention host committee finance chair. Lasry, the son of billionaire hedge fund manager and Democratic bundler Marc Lasry, could quickly mount of a formidable, well-funded campaign," Politico's Natasha Korecki reports. "Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who took on a national role speaking for Wisconsin in the wake of police shooting of Jacob Blake and the subsequent Kenosha riots, is another name in the mix, as well as state Attorney General Josh Kaul."
In a statement, Tom Nelson made the case -- sure to be echoed by the others -- for going after Johnson.
"I think his record, I think his behavior and what he has done and what he has said — not just the last couple of years but for the last nine years — makes him very vulnerable,” he explained. “Ron Johnson is an unmitigated disaster and a conspiracy nut, among other qualities. Every time he opens his mouth he embarrasses himself and our state.”
Johnson will not be the only GOP senator whose seat may be in play for Democrats, with the report noting two senators, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, already announcing they would retire. Additionally, the seats of Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and 89-year-old Chuck Grassley of Iowa will be up for grabs in 20222.
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