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Democratic Senate candidates focus on defeating Johnson who’s still undecided

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Democratic Convention continued Sunday and each of the five candidates who want to challenge Republican Sen. Ron Johnson made their case.

The five declared candidates are state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, radiologist Dr. Gillian Battino, Milwaukee Bucks senior VP Alex Lasry, state Sen. Chris Larson and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

Entrepreneur Steven Olikara also spoke, but he has not officially declared himself a candidate.

State party chair Ben Wikler says helping a Democrat win that Senate seat is one of the most important tasks the party faces right now.

"[A win] could determine the Senate majority's control, or, if we could defeat him and win in other races, we can expand the Democratic majority so there's more room to pass the critical legislation that's been passing the House so beautifully," Wikler said during the virtual presentation Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Wikler and DNC Chair Jaime Harrison to talk about other issues important to Democrats Sunday evening.

But the one question that still remains is whether Sen. Johnson will run for re-election.

He spoke at the Milwaukee Press Club Thursday on a number of topics, including why he's waiting to make a decision.

"It would be fun to just return to a normal life and not have to put up with all I have to put up with, but at the same time, what I didn't realize in 2016 is we'd lose the House, we basically lose the Senate, we don't have the White House," he said.

Johnson has held the seat since 2011. He defeated long-time Democrat Russ Feingold in the 2010 election and then again in 2016.

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Neena Pacholke

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