Democratic US Senate candidates push to end filibuster

MADISON, Wis. — All of the top Democrats running to replace Republican Ron Johnson in the U.S. Senate back eliminating the filibuster, a move which would pave the way for easier passage of policies like federal abortion rights or stricter gun control.

In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting, Democrats — who control the Senate — had to reach an agreement with Republican senators to pass gun control legislation. Eliminating the filibuster would mean that passing stricter measures would only need a simple 50-vote majority — an easier task for Democrats.

“We took a first step with the legislation that was that was passed in the Senate and the House and signed by the president, but we need to be able to do more,” said Democratic candidate Alex Lasry. “We need to be able to make sure that we’re banning assault weapons we need universal background checks.”

The most recent shooting Monday in Highland Park, Illinois, forced the issue front of mind for voters, but the candidates say that voters were considering the issue even beforehand.

“I’ll tell you people bring up the issue of gun violence before I even get a chance to,” Democratic candidate Mandela Barnes said. “People are operating with this with this sense of anxiety, this feeling of hopelessness, this feeling of fear.”

There are currently a handful of Democratic senators blocking the elimination of the filibuster. If one of the Democrats running in Wisconsin replaces Johnson next year, it would get Democrats closer to eliminating the rule.

“When 80% of Wisconsin want common-sense gun safety legislation, we have an obligation to get that done in the U.S. Senate,” said Democratic candidate Sarah Godlewski.

Those Democrats will face each other in an Aug. 9 primary.