Four Republican Senators Waiting to Decide on Reelection Bids Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks on the bipartisan infrastructure bill during a press conference with fellow Republican Senators at U.S. Capitol on Aug. 04, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 13 August 2021 09:36 AM
Four Republican senators still have yet to announce whether they intend to retire or seek another term in office as the GOP look for ways to win the majority in the Upper Chamber of Congress, Politico reports.
Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., John Thune, R-S.D., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, all have yet to announce whether they plan to seek another term in office. Only one Democrat, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy, has yet to decide on whether to step down. The GOP is currently trying to defend five Senate seats that are vulnerable due to the incumbents retiring, which could hurt their chances of taking back a majority.
"I would think that they would make a decision before this time. Because it takes time to put a campaign together. It’s unusual," said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the chair of the Democratic Party’s campaign arm. "These are big races, and they’re going to be intense for everyone who is running. And delay usually puts you at a disadvantage."
Johnson said in a recent interview that Republicans who want to get reelected should avoid working on "crap" with Democrats, such as the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
"I’m dead serious," he said. "This is not helpful. If you want to retain a U.S. Senate seat in Republican hands in Wisconsin, you don’t participate in passing Part One of the 'Green New Deal.’"
Johnson added, "I’m not happy," and said he doesn’t want to rush into a decision on whether to run again, though he did note that he managed to raise $1.2 million in donations without trying to fundraise.
"I didn’t lift a finger to fundraise … you can’t read anything into that," he said.
Thune, the Senate Minority Whip, told Politico, "I’m not in any rush," to decide on running again.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott, R-Fla., said that he would "be surprised if any of them retire," referring to the four undecided Republican senators.
"The indication from what most do here is: They’ll run again," added Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. "I would guess that three out of the four [Republicans] would end up running, including Johnson."
He also noted that Grassley, who is 87-years-old, is a special case due to his age.
"I know what I’d be doing. I’d be back on the farm picking weeds at least," Braun said. "Doing something. I would not be here."