• WisPolitics


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

 9:32 AM 

Johnson says he has 'plenty of time' for Senate run

U.S. Senate hopeful Ron Johnson said Tuesday in Madison that there's "plenty of time" for him to mount a campaign before the Sept. 7 primary.

Johnson, a wealthy Republican businessman from Oshkosh, said voters haven't turned their attention to the election, and he plans to aggressively fundraise in addition to using his personal fortune.

"I intend to spend what it takes to get my message out there," he said, adding, "It can't just be Ron Johnson against Russ Feingold and all those special interests. I am going to aggressively fundraise from people that are like-minded, who have the exact same concerns that I have in terms of the direction of this country and out-of-control spending and debt."

Johnson owns Pacur, and said his manufacturing and accounting background will be helpful in Washington.

Johnson has never held political office, but he says that won't hinder his candidacy. He said he'll be a "citizen legislator."

"I think a different perspective needs to be taken in Washington. I think people who have actually lived under the rules, regulations and taxes that politicians have imposed on the rest of us, we've got to take that perspective to Washington," he said. "It's the politicians who have gotten us into this mess. I, for one, have no faith they'll be able to get us out of it."

Johnson also made stops Tuesday in Eau Claire and La Crosse after starting his formal announcement swing Monday.

Johnson said the Tea Party movement will be an important part of his campaign.

"I do get upset when I hear people in the Tea Party movement referred to as crazies and loons," said Johnson, who has been a speaker at some TP rallies. "I tell you the people I met at those rallies were good, honest, hard-working, taxpaying, patriotic, loyal Americans who shared the exact same concern I have in terms of the direction of this country."

He said he hopes those activists will get behind him.

"This is a two-party system," he said. "The worst thing that could happen would be a three-party split. That type of thing elects Al Franken. We've got to join the party. I'm joining the Republican Party, and I'm taking the Tea Party with me."

Johnson was endorsed by former GOP Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow at the Madison press conference.

"It's clear conservatives have been looking for someone who can take the fight to Russ Feingold and win in November. Ron Johnson's that candidate," said Farrow a day after the man who picked her as lt. gov., former Gov. Scott McCallum, endorsed Terrence Wall.


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