SPOTLIGHT | WI-1

Paul Ryan and an Open Seat in Wisconsin

The 1st District has voted for Trump, Romney, and Obama in the past three presidential elections.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., tells reporters he will not run for re-election amid Republican concerns over keeping their majority in the House of Representatives, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Kyle Trygstad
April 11, 2018, 10:21 a.m.

Speaker Paul Ryan‘s decision not to seek reelection could trigger more retirements in this unfavorable climate for Republicans, but it won’t fundamentally alter the national landscape—the House was already in play.

At the local level Ryan’s retirement will launch a scramble in both parties to replace him in Wisconsin’s potentially competitive 1st District. President Trump carried it by 10 points, Mitt Romney won it by 5 in 2012, and President Obama took it by 3 in 2008.

The seat is open for the first time in 20 years, when Ryan was elected at age 28, and without him the complexion of the race is inherently different. Two Democrats were already running: Randy Bryce, who has been endorsed by nearly a dozen members of Congress, and Cathy Myers, who has been elected to the Janesville school board twice.

There is plenty of time for more to jump in, with the June 1 filing deadline still seven weeks away. One top potential Republican contender to replace the U.S. House speaker is state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who lives in the 1st District and represents part of it.

Kyle Trygstad

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