Ex-Obama Official Launches Bid For Ron Johnson’s Senate Seat

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26 : Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., questions Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, during her Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26 : Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., questions Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, during her Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Russell Sen... UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26 : Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., questions Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, during her Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/POOL) MORE LESS
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February 17, 2021 7:04 p.m.

Milwaukee Bucks executive and former Obama administration official Alex Lasry on Wednesday announced his bid to challenge Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) during next year’s midterm elections.

Lasry, who worked with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett’s team in a role involving business outreach during the Obama administration, is the second Democratic candidate to launch a challenge against Johnson. Johnson, however, has yet to announce whether he will seek a second term.

“We need a new way of thinking and a new perspective,” Lasry said in a video announcing his candidacy. “We’ve lived through three systemic shots to the system over the last 20 years: 9/11, the Great Recession and now this pandemic.”

“And we still haven’t fixed things,” Lasry added.

Lasry, who touted his endorsements from top political figures in Milwaukee as well as his participation in racial justice protests last year in the wake of Kenosha police shooting Jacob Blake, said that he aims to bring a “fresh perspective” to Washington. Lasry previously helped bring last year’s Democratic National Convention to Milwaukee, despite it turning into a mostly virtual affair amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lasry also nodded to his work with the Bucks that he said demonstrates “progressive values.”

“We’re not just talking about a $15 minimum wage: we’re actually paying one,” Lasry said, referring to the Bucks organization. “We’re not just talking about creating good union jobs — we’ve created thousands of them. We’re not just talking about being on the front lines of racial and social justice — we’re doing that.”

In an interview with CBS News, Lasry particularly took aim at Johnson for “peddling conspiracy theories and lies.”

“For the last 10 years, we’ve had a senator who hasn’t been representing Wisconsin, someone who’s been more interested in peddling conspiracy theories and lies, rather than actually getting things done on behalf of his constituents,” Lasry told CBS News.

Meanwhile, Johnson has stuck to faithfully defended former President Trump’s honor. During an interview on local radio station WISN on Monday, Johnson tried to downplay the deadly Capitol insurrection last month that Trump incited.

“The fact of the matter is this didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me. I mean armed — when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms?” the senator asked on Monday. “Here’s the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired?”

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