Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson says no decision on his political future

Midwest

FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2020 file photo, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, Johnson says he has not made a decision yet on his political future as the vocal backer of President Donald Trump faces two years in the minority and mounting calls for him to step aside. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday, a day after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump, that he has not made a decision yet on his political future as the Trump supporter faces two years in the minority.

The Republican, who is midway through his second term, will be in the minority for the first time after Democrats won a pair of run-off elections in Georgia. News of the second Democratic win, sealing their majority, came as rioters were in the Capitol, disrupting confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s win.

Johnson is weighing whether to seek a third term, run for governor or step down. His decision will have a cascading effect in Wisconsin as other Republicans wait to see what he does.

Johnson, reached early by text message Thursday, said he was boarding a plane and he had made “no decision” on his future.

FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump listens to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth at the emergency operations center at Mary D. Bradford High School, in Kenosha, Wis. (Background at center is U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.) On Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, Johnson says he has not made a decision yet on his political future as the vocal backer of President Donald Trump faces two years in the minority and mounting calls for him to step aside. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci File)

Johnson is one of Trump’s most vocal backers and had supported objecting to certifying Biden’s victory, but backed off after the riot at the Capitol by supporters of the president. Johnson has faced criticism from fellow Republicans in the wake of his unfounded claims of widespread election fraud and wrongdoing.

The Democratic Senate majority means Johnson will lose his post as chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, a panel he used to hold a hearing on baseless election fraud claims and that he pledged to use to further investigate the 2020 race.

Johnson had earlier pledged not to serve more than two terms in the Senate. He later recanted, saying he wanted to wait until after the 2020 election to make a decision. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is up for re-election in 2022 but hasn’t said yet whether he will seek a second term.

Tom Nelson, a Democrat who is the Outagamie County executive, has already announced plans to run for the Senate. Numerous Republicans are weighing either a run for governor or Senate but are waiting to see what Johnson does.

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