Ron Johnson on whether he will accept 2022 midterm results: ‘I sure hope I can’
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Thursday failed to confirm that he will accept the 2022 midterm election results, alleging that Democrats might attempt to cheat in this year’s contest.
During interactions with the press on Thursday, a reporter asked the incumbent if he would concede if the vote count showed that he lost.
Johnson responded: “I sure hope I can, but I can’t predict what the Democrats might have planned.”
The two-term senator said that he and other Republicans are not trying to “gain partisan advantage” by contesting election results, but rather trying to “restore confidence” in the electoral process.
“It sure seems like there’s an awful lot of, in the past, a lot of attempts on the part of Democrats to make it easier to cheat,” said Johnson.
He added: “We want to make it easy to vote but very hard to cheat.”
Johnson referenced an incident from last week which a Milwaukee election official was accused of requesting three absentee military ballots and sending them to a Republican lawmaker known for embracing election conspiracies, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“I’m pretty shocked that a Democrat election official was sending out military ballots fraudulently,” said the senator Thursday.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson (D) announced on Thursday that he fired the deputy director of the city’s election commission after the fraud came to light.
“I was told yesterday that she apparently sought fictitious military ballots from a state election website and had those ballots directed to a state representative,” he said.
The election official, Kimberly Zapata, has since been criminally charged in connection with these allegations.
Johnson has repeated similar to claims to former President Trump that the 2020 election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. However, these claims have been disputed by federal and state elections officials.
Johnson faces Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) for a seat in the upper chamber on Tuesday. The election has been rated “lean Republican” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
The race was previously a “toss-up,” but the national political environment gives Johnson the slightest of edges. The GOP senator has slammed Barnes for his position on crime, and those attacks have worked, according to Cook’s political analysts.
Democrats across the board have suffered amid a worsening economic outlook for 2023 and sky-high inflation that has persisted for months.