Ryan Solen declines to run again; a possible new Ryan challenger appears

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Frank Schultz
Monday, May 8, 2017

MOUNT PLEASANT—Democrat Ryan Solen, who became the latest challenger to lose to Rep. Paul Ryan last November, says he won't run again.

Solen issued a statement Sunday, which included an endorsement of a possible new challenger to Ryan, David Yankovich.

Solen said he could not be a candidate because of “personal health issues.”

“Of the many people who appear to be exploring primary campaigns, I believe David Yankovich is the only one who can win against Paul Ryan. Should he declare, I will do everything I can to see that he is the Democratic nominee and, later, the winner of the general election,” Solen wrote.

Yankovich is a political activist from Ohio who is a political unknown in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Yankovich has what it takes to challenge Ryan, said Karen Erb, a Democratic activist from Silver Lake, who wrote her own endorsement of Yankovich on the CrowdPac website.

In just over a day since Yankovich began raising money on CrowdPac, he had raised nearly $11,000, Erb noted.

Any Ryan challenger will have to contend with the millions of dollars Ryan has at his disposal, and Erb said Yankovich has creative ideas for fundraising, including following the small-contribution tactic that Sen. Bernie Sanders used in running for president.

Erb said she believes Yankovich will move to Kenosha soon to begin his campaign. She said he is what the party needs to defeat Ryan: Someone who when he speaks, people listen.

“I'm hungry for a candidate who really is dedicated, who will not have a job and will work full time,” Erb said, adding that Solen is a “sweet guy,” but he ran while also working and raising a family.

Yankovich's Twitter account, @DavidYankovich, has more than 67,000 followers, Erb noted.

In an April 1 YouTube video, Yankovich calls on Democrats to take back a majority of the House of Representatives in 2018 and then to impeach President Donald Trump

Yankovich was in Florida on Monday, where his mother is ill, said Lauren Young, who ran Solen's campaign and who is volunteering to help Yankovich.

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