By Milwaukee Courier Staff
The race for the Democratic primary nomination to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in 2022 continues to heat up.
The leading Democratic challengers recently reported their latest fundraising totals:
Milwaukee Bucks Executive Alex Lasry is leading with approximately $3.15 million raised to date, with $1.5 million cash on hand.
State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski has raised approximately $1.875 million, with $786,000 cash on hand. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has raised approximately $1.1 million with $711,000 cash on hand, since entering the race this summer. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, the first to enter the race, has raised $727,000 to date.
Johnson, the incumbent Republican senator who has still not announced whether he will run for re-election, reported $2.65 million raised with $2.3 million cash on hand.
Another common measure of momentum in a campaign like this is the race to see who can lock down key endorsements. So far organized labor, generally one of the largest influences in Democratic primaries, appears to be lining up behind Lasry.
Lasry is the only candidate so far to receive the backing of statewide labor organizations, with the announced support of the Wisconsin Teamsters Joint Council 39, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 494, The Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 139, the Wisconsin Pipe Trades (WPTA) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 18.
Lasry has made raising wages and creating union jobs a centerpiece of his campaign, touting the Milwaukee Bucks success with the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.
Lasry has also announced endorsements from key elected officials from across the state, including Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson, and Madison State Rep. Shelia Stubbs.
Barnes has also announced several elected official endorsements including the Working Families Party, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Congresswoman Gwen Moore.
Earlier this month, the Lasry campaign launched the first TV ads of the election, making him the first Wisconsin candidate to go on the air, more than a year out from the general election. This TV buy also made Lasry the first Democratic challenger in the country to go up on television ahead of the 2022 election.
All of this early action in the U.S. Senate race, more than a year ahead of the 2022 election, is unprecedented in Wisconsin history and we expect to see much more from all of the candidates as we await a decision from Johnson on whether or not he will seek re-election.
If Johnson chooses not to, we will probably see a similar primary begin to heat up on the Republican side. With Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, Governor Tony Evers’ win in 2018, and Joe Biden taking the state in 2020 – this race is truly a tossup. CNN has named Wisconsin one of the most likely Senate seats to flip in 2022.
The primary election will be held on Aug. 9, 2022, with the general on Nov. 9, 2022. Evers is also up for re-election this fall, and will face the winner of a Republican primary field that is currently being led by Scott Walker’s former Lt. Gov., Rebecca Kleefisch.