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Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson doesn’t rule out Senate minority leadership

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(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senator says he’s not looking to become the next Republican leader, but he’s not ruling it out either.

Sen. Ron Johnson told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber he is focused right now on organizing the search for someone to replace Mitch McConnell when McConnell leaves Senate leadership in November.

“I think we need to operate more like a functioning private sector organization than this dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress right now,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to forestall a beauty contest or popularity contest where everything rallies around.”

Johnson said he’s asked for a Republican conference meeting and would really like to lay out a game plan so senators and voters understand where they are headed next.

“We’re going to hold the conference meeting, if not the week of the 11th, then the following week to discuss and develop a mission statement, to establish goals and then discuss the process for electing our new leader.” Johnson added. “Again, I want this to be very thoughtful. I don’t want to rush to judgment here. There’s no there is no hurry here whatsoever.”

McConnell announced Wednesday he will step down as minority leader after the election. McConnell has not yet said whether he will run for reelection again in 2026.

As for whether Johnson would like to become the leader, he didn’t say “no.”

“I’ve always said I don’t envy the leader of their task,” Johnson said “If we get the majority, I would be more than satisfied being chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. There’s a lot of investigating to do, there’s a lot of oversight to do and that’d actually be my preference. But again, we’ll go through this process and see which leaders emerge. I mean at this point, I’m leading this process, nobody else called the conference committee. I’ve been doing these things, so again if I can lead this process, hopefully whichever leader emerges will be the right one.”

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