Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) will seek a third term. Johnson had previously stated that he would retire after two terms, but now says that the Covid-19 pandemic and current political landscape has altered his plans. He made the announcement via email on Sunday.

The Wisconsin Senate race is expected to be one of the closest in the nation, and Johnson fell under pressure to run again. He is Wisconsin’s Republican leader and lone GOP member to hold a statewide position. Republicans convinced him that he needed to run again or there would be a greater chance of losing a Senate seat to the Democrats.

Johnson is one of former President Donald Trump‘s biggest allies. Trump endorsed Johnson’s third campaign. Disdain for Johnson has lead to a double-digit number of possible Democratic competitors, including state treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry. Johnson’s opponent will not be decided until August 9.

Johnson has been one of the most outspoken challengers of the Covid-19 vaccine. He contracted the virus in the fall of 2020 but is still not vaccinated.

“Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease?” Johnson said on a conservative radio show last week. “Why do we assume that the body’s natural immune system isn’t the marvel that it really is?”

Johnson is also known for perpetuation of conspiracy theories such as mouthwash being an aid to stopping transmission of the coronavirus and that carbon dioxide “helps trees grow.”

Johnson maintains that his decision to run again comes from the feeling that he “should” with the state of American politics. He says he never voted with reelection in mind.

“An extension of that promise is that I don’t conduct myself worrying about re-election,” he wrote. “When re-election is not your primary motivation, those are easy promises to keep – and I have faithfully done so.”

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