MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said he's still undecided about whether or not he'll seek a third term in 2022 during a Milwaukee Press Club Newsmakers Luncheon on Thursday. Several other candidates have already joined the race.
"I don't feel any pressure to make [a decision] any time soon," the Republican senator said. "These campaigns are way too long and they spend way too much money."
In 2016, Johnson said he only planned to serve two terms. But on Thursday he said circumstances have changed, and his top priority is keeping the seat with Republicans.
"When I made that pledge, I meant that pledge," he said. "What I didn't realize in 2016 is that we'd lose the [U.S.] House, that we've basically lost the Senate, we don't have the White House."
Johnson touched on several other topics during the luncheon, including the price tag of President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill. Johnson is pushing for previous COVID-19 relief funds to be used instead.
"We should not participate and vote for any new spending that isn't just repurposing that $720 billion," Johnson said.
He also spoke about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
"I think some of it is pretty common sense. It's a collection of data, it's police training, that type of thing," he said.
However, he said he does not support eliminating qualified immunity, which is part of the proposed legislation.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair, Ben Wikler, responded to Johnson's comments Thursday. In a statement Wikler said:
“Ron Johnson has become a creature of Washington. At every step, he does what’s best for him, and ignores the Wisconsinites he was elected to represent. As Wisconsinites work to recover from the pandemic, Johnson continues to vote against legislation that would help the state’s families and economy.”
The full conversation with Sen. Johnson is available on the Milwaukee Press Club's Youtube page.