MADISON, Wis. — Democrat Alex Lasry, a 33-year-old Milwaukee Bucks executive and son of a billionaire, announced Wednesday that he’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2022 for the seat currently held by Republican Ron Johnson.
Lasry is the son of Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.
Lasry made the announcement with a YouTube video, saying “we need a new way of thinking and a new perspective.” His launch video included endorsements from several prominent Milwaukee politicians, including Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson.
Lasry joins Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, also a Democrat, as the only two announced candidates in the race. Johnson has not said yet whether he will seek a third term.
Nelson, a former state lawmaker and candidate for Congress in 2016, said in a Twitter message that he welcomed Lasry to the race “as we all stand united to beat Ron Johnson.”
But faced with the prospect of Lasry throwing millions of his own money into the race, Nelson challenged him not to spend any of his family’s money on the race.
“I don’t think anyone should buy a Senate seat,” Nelson said.
Lasry told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he will “invest” in his campaign while also promising to raise small donations as well.
Other Democrats, including state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and state Sen. Chris Larson, of Milwaukee, are also considering bids.
Johnson’s spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Johnson is one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters, saying in multiple interviews this week that he did not consider the U.S. Capitol riot last month to be an armed insurrection.
Lasry, a New York City native, was host committee chair for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was awarded to Milwaukee but moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was a former aide in Barack Obama’s White House.
This is Lasry’s his first run for public office. Lasry made headlines last month when he received the COVID-19 vaccine, even though he’s not yet eligible in Wisconsin, after his wife’s uncle who is a rabbi at a senior living center in Milwaukee said there was one available there.