Johnson expects to make decision on whether to seek re-election ‘over the next couple weeks’

ELKHORN, Wis. — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Tuesday he expects to make a decision about whether to run for re-election “over the next couple weeks.”

Johnson, 66, made the remarks in response to a question from a student during a town hall at Elkhorn Area High School. When the student asked Johnson about his 2016 promise to retire from the Senate in 2022 after the end of his second term, Johnson said while that was his initial plan, he did not anticipate the current direction of the country and is now reconsidering.

“I haven’t made a decision; what I have said is it’s not in the distant future,” Johnson said. “I’ll probably be making that decision over the next couple weeks.”

The senator cited a number of factors, including a “dangerous and embarrassing surrender from Afghanistan” and a “(Biden) administration that is showing weakness across the world,” as reasons he may stay in the political realm.

“The fact of the matter is my preference would be to go home, but because I ran in 2010 because I was panicked for the direction of this country, a country I dearly love, I’m more panicked now,” Johnson said. “So the question I have going through my mind right now as I’m asking everybody else to gear up and fight to preserve this nation, can I just leave the field and give up the fight, go home just to protect myself, my family? I’m not sure I can do that.”

As he has been traveling the state, Johnson said people have been strongly encouraging him to run and to disregard his previous pledge to step down.

Johnson’s comments echo what he has been saying for months as he debates whether to run for the seat again.

The latest Marquette University Law School poll found Johnson and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers would likely lose if the election was this year.