Six men are running for the Republican nomination to replace Paul Ryan in the 1st Congressional District, but it appears only one was present for President Donald Trump’s appearance at the Foxconn events Thursday.

Bryan Steil had a seat with his name on it in the front row to hear the president speak after the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Gazette asked each of the candidates for thoughts about the massive, state-supported industrial development in Racine County and on the president’s performance.

A Steil spokesman pointed to a campaign statement released Thursday and added this Steil comment about Trump:

“I applaud the president’s work to bring thousands of jobs to southeast Wisconsin. There’s more work to be done, but the recent progress made in Washington has created this jobs-friendly environment we’re experiencing in Wisconsin.”

Steil’s statement includes this:

“I am encouraged by the economic development brought to the I-94 corridor. The reforms enacted in Wisconsin over the past eight years and the recent progress made in Washington have created this jobs-friendly environment allowing Wisconsin residents to prosper.”

The other candidates who responded to Gazette emails Thursday:

Brad Boivin: “Dr. Boivin is supportive of ongoing efforts by President Donald Trump, Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in Congress and the state Legislature to bring jobs to the people of Wisconsin.”

Paul Nehlen: “I never doubted President Trump’s promises to MAGA (Make America Great Again) would result in wins like Foxconn, a win for Wisconsin, and America.”

Nick Polce: “I think if Foxconn does what it said it’s going to do, which is bring 14,000 jobs, I think that’s going to be a net benefit for the state.”

Foxconn has said it will create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000.

Polce said he is especially looking forward to the benefits to local businesses that will support the Foxconn development.

Polce said of the president: “I think he’s done well, if you look at his Supreme Court pick, getting rid of overburdensome regulations, and foreign policy wins—getting out of the Iran deal, helping defeat ISIS, and leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council. Those things have shown leadership on the world stage.”

Jeremy Ryan: “Foxconn is an economic parasite raping communities in our district of their homes and our state of tax money, all for sub-par jobs. ... I cannot think of a larger economic disaster.

“I’m not a big fan of Trump,” Ryan continued. “He promised something different, however, I think people realize it wasn’t the different they were looking for, and I ran this race to offer a different different.”

State and Foxconn officials have said the average pay at the plant will be around $53,000 plus benefits.

Kevin Steen: “I think it is a pivotal time for 1st Congressional District, and I fully support this world-class project and will continue to support Foxconn through the length of the project.

“I support the president; he is not the problem in Washington, and hopefully he has come to the 1st Congressional District to drain the swamp.”

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