Sen. Ron Johnson officially announces re-election campaign

MADISON, Wis. – Sen. Ron Johnson is officially running for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

The Republican, who has represented Wisconsin in the Senate since 2011, announced his campaign with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

Johnson had previously indicated he would be retiring at the end of his current term. He cited the “Democrats’ complete takeover of government” as one of the reasons for running again.

“I am announcing I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election,” Johnson said in a statement Sunday. “It is not a decision I have made lightly.”

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Johnson said he loved America and the people of Wisconsin.

“Ron Johnson has been in the Senate looking out for himself at the expense of Wisconsinites and failing to do the job he was elected to do,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler said in a statement. “It’s time to face the consequences.”

Johnson joins a crowded field for his re-election. While his incumbent status gives him a strong advantage in gaining the Republican nomination, Democrats including Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry are all vying for his job.

“The only people celebrating Ron Johnson’s announcement are his donors and the corporate special interest groups he’s bailed out time and time again,” Barnes said in a statement Sunday.

Barnes was not the only Democrat challenger to comment on Johnson’s campaign.

“Ron Johnson has shown time and time again that he isn’t up to the task of representing the people of Wisconsin,” Lasry said in a statement. “Today he announced, and in November we unseat him.”

Lasry is currently on leave from his job with the Bucks while he campaigns.

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is another Democrat looking to unseat Johnson.

“Nothing shows just how much Ron Johnson has left Wisconsin and our working families behind than announcing his re-election in a New York-based, Wall Street newspaper,” Godlewski said in a statement. “Ron Johnson has failed Wisconsinites–looking out for corporate special interests and promoting conspiracy theories, not helping us.”

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson issued a statement as he challenges for Johnson’s seat.

“Ron Johnson has spent the last decade catering to the ultra-wealthy millionaires and corporate interests who fund his campaign,” Nelson said. “Wisconsin needs a Senator that will promote Main Street solutions to our rigged economy, not another millionaire or billionaire.”

The Wisconsin primary elections are scheduled for August 9, and the general election is scheduled for November 8.