Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District is not a surefire win for Democrats. They’re energized by Ryan’s decision not to run, and the furnishing success of ironworker Randy Bryce, the Democratic front-runner.
Marquette Law School political scientist Charles Franklin notes that it’s looking like a tough year for Republicans, with Democrats hoping for a “blue wave” to capture the seat and the House.
“But if a Republican can win it, they could probably hold it for awhile, absent more Democratic forces in the future,” Franklin said. “The seat is one that typically produces Republican margins that are 10 to 14 points more than the Republican margins statewide.”
Paul Nehlen — who lost the GOP primary two years ago — is running again. Nehlen has made racist and anti-Semetic comments have been denounced by the Republican party. “I would be very surprised not to see one, or as many as several, much more establishment Republicans enter the race.”
At least one establishment Republican has already said he is not running — former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. “Look, I’m always interested in serving but the timing for me couldn’t be worse.” Priebus told WISN radio that he’s just started a new job with the Milwaukee law firm of Michael, Best, and Friederich. He also said he’s enjoying being home with his family — something Ryan cited as a primary motivation in his decision to not seek reelection.
Other potential Republican candidates include Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Assembly members Samantha Kerkman, Amy Loudenbeck, and Tyler August. Also state Senator David Craig and UW Regent David Steil. None of them have indicated that they’re running or not, although Kerkman told the Capitol Times that she’s thinking about it.