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Former Progressive Caucus co-chair won't challenge Johnson in 2022

Former Progressive Caucus co-chair won't challenge Johnson in 2022
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanLeft feels empowered after Biden backtracks on refugees NIH reverses Trump administration's ban on fetal tissue research NIH to make announcement on fetal tissue research policy amid Trump-era restrictions MORE (D-Wis.), the former co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, on Monday confirmed that he will not challenge Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party Republicans fret over divisive candidates MORE (R-Wis.) for his seat in 2022.

In a statement, Pocan, who served as co-chair of the caucus with Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOn The Money: Yellen touts 'whole-of-economy' plan to fight climate change | Senate GOP adopts symbolic earmark ban, digs in on debt limit House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban Sanders, Jayapal introduce bill to make college tuition-free for many Americans MORE (D-Wash.) until this year, said he had chosen to focus on his work in the House.

“By serving on the House Appropriations Committee in the majority, with seniority building on the committee, I can best deliver real results to help my constituents and the nation,” Pocan said. “To start my seniority all over in the Senate would be a less effective path to getting the work done for which I came to Congress.”

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Johnson pledged to retire in 2022 after winning his second term but said in 2019 that he would not rule out either a third run or a challenge to Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversFoxconn scaling back B Wisconsin factory contracted during Trump administration Foxconn, Wisconsin reach new deal on tax breaks for scaled-back facility Police apprehend suspect in Kenosha-area tavern shooting that killed 3 MORE (D).

Johnson has become a top 2022 Democratic target over his participation in an effort by 11 Republican senators to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election. He most recently defeated his predecessor, former Sen. Russ Feingold (D), by 3 points in a 2016 rematch. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE won the state by just 0.63 points in 2020.

“If Senator Ron Johnson breaks his promise to the people of Wisconsin and runs again, I am sure he will lose,” Pocan said in a statement. “We have a number of good, smart, effective Democrats looking at running against him.”

“In 2022, Wisconsinites will remember he broke promises about not running again, blocked $1200 assistance checks to the American people, attempted to silence the votes of his constituents by trying to block the electoral college certification, and much more,” he added. “Wisconsin deserves a Senator that will put our state first, not one that’s greatest skill is peddling conspiracy theories and jumping down rabbit holes.”