Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and an ally of former President Donald Trump, announced through an email Sunday that he would launch a reelection bid despite earlier stating that he would not run.
“Today, I am announcing I will continue to fight for freedom in the public realm by running for re-election,” Johnson wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
“Much as I’d like to ease into a quiet retirement, I don’t feel I should.”
Johnson, 66, had previously pledged to serve no more than 12 years in the Senate. He noted that the circumstances changed after Democrats won the White House took control of Congress.
Long considered a swing state, Wisconsin narrowly voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. In 2016, Trump narrowly carried the state.
Johnson has been among the most vocal lawmakers to dismiss the vaccine. He is unvaccinated and contracted COVID-19 in October. He has rankled Democrats for spreading misinformation.
“Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease? Why do we assume that the body’s natural immune system isn’t the marvel that it really is?” Johnson said on a conservative radio show.
He has also stated that he does not believe the Capitol Riot was as violent as the Democrats have claimed. He once stated that it “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me.”
Johnson defeated former Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010 and then again in 2016.