Sen. Larson announces campaign for US Senate

Chris Larson

Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson, of Milwaukee, is preparing to join an already crowded field of candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

Larson filed paperwork for a run on Tuesday and was expected to announce his candidacy as soon as Wednesday. Johnson has not said yet whether he will seek a third term.

Larson did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, Milwaukee political activist Steven Olikara announced he had formed an exploratory committee to examine a run as a Democrat. Olikara is the founder and former chief executive of Millennial Action Project, a nonprofit devoted to helping young leaders bridge the partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats.

Larson has been in the state Senate since 2011 and is a former minority leader. He lost bids for Milwaukee County executive in 2016 and 2020.

Other Democrats already in the race are Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson; Alex Lasry, who is on leave from his job as an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks; state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski; and Wausau radiologist Gillian Battino.

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Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is also considering a run.