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Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is running for reelection, so, the ad wars have begun

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Screenshot taken by Chuck Quirmbach
One of the new ads reacting to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's re-election announcement comes from one his Democratic challengers, Alex Lasry.

The re-election bid of Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is heating up early, through advertising.

Johnson announced Sunday that he's running for a third term. In one commercial released Monday, the Republican explained why he's breaking his promise from six years ago that he would leave Congress after serving two terms.

"With Democrats in total control, our nation is on a very dangerous path. If you're in a position to make our country safer and stronger, would you just walk away? I decided I can't," Johnson said.

Johnson also suggested Democrats are to blame for everything from the November Christmas parade deaths in Waukesha, to the 2020 civil unrest in Kenosha, after a white police officer severely wounded a Black man, Jacob Blake, Jr.

"Kenosha set on fire. A growing number of murders in Milwaukee, and the Waukesha Christmas parade, turned into a terrible tragedy," Johnson said.

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A scene from one of Senator Johnson's new ads.

Locally and nationally, Democrats are fighting back. For example, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has released a digital ad that argued Johnson has been in the Senate to benefit himself, not Wisconsin voters.

One of the Wisconsin Democrats running against Johnson, Alex Lasry, has released an online ad calling Johnson a denier of last year's U.S. Capitol insurrection and a promoter of medically dangerous ways of combatting COVID-19.

The state Democratic Party said it's putting up billboards criticizing Johnson. The party also held a Zoom call with health care workers and patients attacking Johnson's record.

Milwaukee nurse Charles Manning responded to the senator's claim that the nation is on a dangerous path.

"Ron Johnson has led us down this path. It's that simple. I don't think Ron Johnson knows his head from a hole in the ground, and the only thing that speaks to him is money and power," Manning said.

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Another Democrat running for U.S. Senate, Tom Nelson, also released a new ad, criticizing Sen. Johnson.

Other Democratic Senate candidates include Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. All three have put out press releases or videos blasting the two-term incumbent who's now hoping for six more years in Washington.

Any primary election in the Senate race is scheduled for Aug. 9 and the general election is set for Nov. 8.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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