Paul Ryan wins GOP primary in 1st Congressional District
JANESVILLE—As expected, Paul Ryan easily dispatched Jeremy Ryan—no relation—in Tuesday's Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District seat.
Jeremy Ryan ran a quiet, no-budget campaign, saying he wants to take the Republican Party in a progressive direction. Few heard the message, and fewer voted for it.
Attention now turns to the main event: Ryan versus Zerban.
Rob Zerban of Kenosha is the Democrat's hope to defeat Ryan after Zerban beat his primary challenger.
Two years ago, Zerban put up the most credible challenge to Ryan in Ryan's eight terms, but Zerban has a long row to hoe to win.
Ryan has the advantages of the incumbency and the bank account.
Paul Ryan raised $5.97 million for his re-election bid, according to the latest information from the Federal Election Commission. Zerban raised $530,582.
This will be a different election year for Ryan than 2012, when he was simultaneously running for Congress and for vice president. Ryan and Zerban never debated.
Zerban has said he and Ryan have a handshake agreement to debate this time around, and the Ryan campaign has not denied this.
Ryan declined to speak to a reporter but sent a statement that bashed Zerban:
“The contrast between my Democratic opponent and I could not be clearer: He wants to increase spending and the size and scope of the federal government; I want to increase the number of jobs in our communities.
“Wisconsinites deserve a representative who will put their interests first while addressing the many challenges we face. I have a proven record of doing just that, and I look forward to earning their votes this November,” Ryan said.
Ryan's schedule next week is more about his new book, “The Way Forward,” than his congressional campaign. The book is scheduled for release Tuesday.
The book has pundits buzzing about the potential for a Ryan presidential run in 2016.
Ryan is scheduled to promote the book as a guest of the MacIver Institute in Milwaukee on Aug. 21.
The book's website lists a five-day book-promotion tour, starting Aug. 22, in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.