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State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski thinking about 2022 U.S. Senate run

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 23:10:20-05

MILWAUKEE — It may seem early to be talking about the US Senate race in 2022, but those conversations are happening.

TMJ4'S Charles Benson asked State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski about a possible run in 2022.

Benson: "What are you thinking?"

Sarah Godlewski: "I will tell you I've also been surprised how many people have been thinking about 2022."

Political newcomer Sarah Godlewski was elected Wisconsin Treasurer in 2018, a year that Democrats went for five for five in the November statewide elections.

The 5th generation Wisconsinite from Eau Claire says she's being encouraged to get into the 2022 Senate race.

"I don't think listening and working across the aisle is happening in Washington," said Godlewski. "I don't think working-class families are getting that voice, and that's something that we need to change."

The potential list also includes Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson also says he's running.

But the big unknown is Republican incumbent Ron Johnson. Will he seek a third term?

Sen. Johnson has won twice, beating long-time Democrat Russ Feingold in 2010 and 2016.

Marquette Law School Professor and pollster Charles Franklin says it's not just Democrats waiting to see what Johnson decides - Republicans want to know too.

"If he (Johnson) drops out, they have to spin up a campaign organization and fundraising for what will surely be a very competitive general election," said Franklin, "and maybe a hard fought Republican primary."

NBC's Chuck Todd on the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race:

While Democrats are on a winning streak in statewide races, Franklin says that may not matter in 2022. "I expect we'll see yet another tough race and the national stakes are high, whether Johnson runs or not. So, this will be a very important race for the national party, as well as here in state politics," he notes.

As for Godlewski, she brings a resume that includes public office, a decade of budget and policy analysis at the Pentagon and co-founder of an investment fund to help women-owned businesses.

Benson: "Why do you think you can maybe be more impactful as a U.S. Senator versus some of those other things you did in life?"

Sarah Godlewski: "So, I think it comes down to my ability to be creative and build these partnerships."

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