US Representative Paul Ryan quickly decides against a run for the U.S. Senate.
The Janesville Republican says he decided almost immediately that he can have the greatest impact on addressing the nation’s debt crisis by remaining in the House as Chairman of the Budget Committee. “To me it just makes more sense. I have a bigger chance of impacting policy in the debate where I am than if I started from scratch … in the senate.”
Congressman Ryan was a top choice among possible candidates to replace the retiring Democrat Herb Kohl, who announced last week he would not run again in 2012. Ryan says he spent the weekend discussing his options with family and friends, and they are all in agreement. He says now is not the best time to “start over from scratch” as a freshman in the US Senate; right now he’s in a good position to be a budget hawk.
“It would take me probably, gosh, 12 to 18 years in the Senate to get to a chairmanship like I have right now in the House. And to me this issue is so big and so important right now. I feel I can better advocate for Wisconsinites at this position where I serve in the House right now than if I ran for United States Senate.”
Ryan says he wanted to make a quick decision so other potential candidates can move forward with their plans. With Ryan out of the race, sources say Former Governor and US Health Secretary Tommy Thompson intends to take a shot at it. Ryan says Thompson is one of many “very substantial, capable candidates” vying for that seat.
Ryan also compliments the retiring senator for his contribution to Wisconsin and its residents. “We’ve had our chair of disagreements, but Herb Kohl has always had my respect.”