OSHKOSH - An Oshkosh plastics manufacturer making his first run for office successfully unseated U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin.
Republican Ron Johnson clinched the win in the U.S. Senate race, booting out the three-term incumbent. Johnson is the state's first Republican Senator in 18 years.
He ran a plastics company for 31 years. On the campaign trail, he touted himself as a manufacturer with proven experience of creating jobs.
"Together we can do this. We can bring back Wisconsin, and we can bring back America," Johnson said in his speech to supporters.
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Johnson said his top priority is to restore fiscal sanity to the nation. He said that begins with repealing the health care law.
"Not only will that destroy our health care system, it will add trillions of dollars to of deficit to our nation's debt," Johnson said.
The Senator-elect says he's proud of the campaign he ran, and feels Feingold lost out because of his voting record.
"He was the deciding vote for the health care bill, the deciding vote for the stimulus, he voted for the last three budgets which added more than $3 trillion to our nation's debt," said Johnson.
Johnson pledged to be a citizen legislator, and supporters feel he will listen and respond to their concerns.
"He's the right man for the job," said Nancy Schraufnagel of Juneau.
"We're just very excited tonight, this is what we've been working so hard on," said campaign volunteer Terri Spanbauer.
People who voted for Johnson say the victory is an opportunity to take the country back.
"He's got a track record as a business man. And he's going to bring some common sense to Washington, and hopefully take the career politician out of what people have been used to," said David Gebhardt of Wausau.
Senator-elect Ron Johnson will hold a news conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at his senate headquarters. Johnson plans to spend the next several weeks assembling a team and preparing for his upcoming term as the next U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
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