Donald Trump on Thursday announced his endorsement of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who has not yet said whether he plans to seek another term on the U.S. Senate next year.
In a statement from Trump's Save America PAC, the former President encouraged Johnson, one of Trump's closest allies, to "Run, Ron, Run!"
"Even though he has not yet announced that he is running, and I certainly hope he does, I am giving my Complete and Total Endorsement to Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin," Trump said. "He is brave, he is bold, he loves our Country, our Military, and our Vets. He will protect our Second Amendment, and everything else we stand for. It is the kind of courage we need in the U.S. Senate. He has no idea how popular he is."
Johnson, of Oshkosh, hasn't yet indicated whether he’ll run for his seat again in 2022, but said last month keeping to his pledge to not seek a third term is “probably my preference now.”
“I appreciate President Trump’s words of support and encouragement," Johnson said Thursday.
Speaking with reporters last month, Johnson said he was "happy to go home," but added the caveat that his pledge to not seek another term was "based on the assumption we wouldn’t have Democrats in total control of government and we’re seeing what I would consider the devastating and harmful effects of Democrats’ total control just ramming things through."
Already, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and Marshfield radiologist Gillian Battino have announced 2022 U.S. Senate bids as Democrats.
Democratic state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes are also each mulling a bid.
“I think an awful lot of things have to play out,” Johnson told the Associated Press Wednesday. “I don’t have to make up my mind. These campaigns are way too long to spend way too much money. I mean, I’m doing everybody a favor, quite honestly.”
Johnson became a major ally to Trump and attended several campaign events with the former President last year. Johnson also was among Republicans in Congress to challenge the results of the 2020 election, but eventually voted to certify those results following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Trump lost to Joe Biden by a little over 20,000 votes in Wisconsin.