Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launches Senate bid

Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launches Senate bid
© Greg Nash

Wisconsin state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski launched a Senate bid on Wednesday, joining a field of Democrats vying to take on Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonAll congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart GOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending MORE (R-Wis.) in 2022. 

“People say we can’t fix the Senate, but I don’t buy that,” Godlewski said in a video announcing her candidacy. “They say don’t even try to take on Ron Johnson. But I say we have to. Every time someone’s told me what I can’t do, I’ve shown them what I can do.”

Godlewski is the third Democrat to jump into the Senate race in Wisconsin. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, a former majority leader in the state Assembly, became the first Democrat to announce his candidacy last fall. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry entered the race in February.


Godlewski, a Wisconsin-born businesswoman, was elected to her post as state treasurer in 2018 after leading a campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have eliminated that office altogether. 

Godlewski has been expected for months to jump into the Senate race. She’s set to begin touring Wisconsin next week on the first leg of her campaign. 

Johnson’s seat is one of the top targets for Democrats in the 2022 midterms. He hasn’t said yet whether he will run for a third term in the Senate, though many Wisconsin Republicans believe he is setting himself up for a reelection bid and he has the early backing of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE, who preemptively endorsed him last week. 

Despite the uncertainty about Johnson’s plans for 2022, Democrats have made clear that they want to run against the GOP incumbent, a top Trump ally who is reviled by the left. 

"Ron Johnson has completely lost touch with Wisconsin and reality, spreading conspiracy theories, denying climate change and obstructing economic relief,” Godlewski said in a statement on Wednesday. “It's time to take a different path in Washington.”

Regardless of Johnson’s ultimate decision, Wisconsin stands as one of Democrats’ best opportunities to pad their ultra-narrow Senate majority in 2022.

Republicans are only one seat away from recapturing control of the upper chamber. If Democrats flip Johnson’s seat, it could help offset a potential loss elsewhere, like in Georgia where Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Georgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting Cruz outspending other senators on Facebook ads: report MORE (D) is expected to face a competitive reelection next year.