La Crosse party leaders react to Ron Johnson’s third senatorial bid

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson announced his decision to run for a third term in the U.S. senate for the state of Wisconsin. Here in La Crosse County, both party leaders believe it’s a good thing for different reasons.

Ron Johnson has served as a Wisconsin U.S. Senator Since 2010.

And now, he’s hopeful for another chance.

“I think he’s the strongest candidate that we could’ve put forward. The only republican who’s ever gotten more votes in our state than Ron Johnson is president Trump,” said Bill Feehan, the district’s Republican party chair.

Early on in his campaign, Johnson promised not to serve more than two terms. Viterbo political scientist Keith Knutson said that breaking this promise could potentially set him back.

“In our elected representatives, we do expect them to keep their word. To make a commitment to and stick with it,” Knutson said.

This provides ammunition for his opponents.

“So, he starts off this campaign having to explain breaking a campaign promise, which is never a good thing to start a campaign off with,” said William Garcia, the La Crosse County Democratic party chair.

Johnson wrote in a Wall Street Journal piece that he believed he had to run because the country was in too much peril.

“I think he knows what’s at stake in this election is really great, and we need his kind of proven leadership in Washington, D.C,” Feehan said.

As of right now, there are 12 democrats with hats in the ring.

Garcia isn’t concerned a crowded field will hurt his party’s chances.

“Whomever wins—all they need to do to unify the democratic base is say ‘I’m running against Ron Johnson.’ and then boom! Everyone in the democratic party says ‘yes!’” Garcia said.

Still, it’s uncertain how the cards will fall.

“Wisconsin is a very divided state, we are purple. we are not either blue or red,” Knutson said.

We won’t know who will face senator Johnson in that race until the August 6 primaries.