The first television advertisements of the 2022 campaign cycle are on the air in Wisconsin.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Wednesday morning began a week’s worth of television and digital ads pounding Senator Ron Johnson for his role in fomenting doubts about President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election and tying the senator to last week’s riots at the Capitol.
With gruesome images of a Capitol Police officer being crushed by Trump supporters, the ad’s narrator cites an editorial published last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that called Mr. Johnson “a leading member of the Senate’s Sedition Caucus” and demanded his resignation.
The state party is spending more than $100,000 to put the Johnson ad on the air in five Wisconsin TV markets and Washington, D.C., beginning Wednesday morning, and plans to keep it on television through Mr. Biden’s inauguration next week, according to Ben Wikler, the Wisconsin Democratic chairman.
Mr. Johnson has not confirmed that he will seek a third term in 2022. He initially said he would retire after two terms, but in the final days before the Nov. 3 election told The Times that “things have changed.”
“Ron Johnson shouldn’t wait 21 months to lose an election, he should resign now,” Mr. Wikler said. “Wisconsinites should never forget the image of marauding violent mob smashing its way into the United States Capitol to overturn the results of the election. That moment will be a stain on Ron Johnson’s career for the rest of his life.”
At least three Wisconsin Democrats are actively planning to run against Mr. Johnson in a 2022 primary. Thomas Nelson, the Outagamie County executive, launched his campaign in October; Sarah Godlewski, the state treasurer, and Alex Lasry, the Milwaukee Bucks executive who led the team that won the bid for the Democratic National Convention, are also putting together campaign infrastructures but have not yet announced their bids.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes has said he is considering running for the Senate but is more likely to seek a second term on the ticket with Gov. Tony Evers.