MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Ryan came up short in his vice presidential bid, but his backup plan worked.
The Wisconsin congressman easily won re-election Tuesday night to the U.S. House seat he has held since 1998. He also won his previous congressional elections by comfortable margins. Even before he was tapped as Mitt Romney’s No. 2, Ryan was seen as a rising star within the Republican Party. As chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee, he gained prominence when he drew up an austere budget blueprint that would reshape Medicare for many people into a voucher-like program. He also attracted attention for wanting to keep tax breaks in place that were set to expire for the wealthy. He was challenged this year for southeast Wisconsin’s 1st District by Democratic businessman Rob Zerban, whose grassroots campaign focused on his credentials as an entrepreneur, and Libertarian Keith Deschler.
But it was an uphill climb for both challengers.
Ryan crisscrossed the U.S. as the GOP vice presidential candidate, stopping in Wisconsin for high-dollar campaign fundraisers and a handful of rallies across the state. Meanwhile, Zerban relied on grassroots efforts to introduce himself to local voters. The former Kenosha Board supervisor said he would fight for middle-class families where Ryan had failed them.
Zerban tried for weeks to get Ryan to debate him, without success. And he raised less than half the money that Ryan brought in: The congressman raised $4.9 million compared to Zerban’s $2.1 million.
Zerban had hoped his campaign would benefit from the heightened scrutiny Ryan was under as a national candidate, but that never happened.
The 1st District stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan through industrial zones, bedroom communities and farm fields until it reaches Ryan’s hometown of Janesville to the west. The seat, which also includes some south Milwaukee suburbs, has been in Republican hands since 1995.
State law allowed the 42-year-old married father to run for Congress and vice president at the same time.
If he had won both races, Ryan would have had to resign from Congress and a special election would have been held to fill the House seat.
Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.MORE IN Wire NewsLOS ANGELES — A thunderstorm formed so rapidly over a Southern California beach that experts said... Full StoryWASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Archaeologists find a leather shoe in a cave in Armenia that predates the Pyramids by more than a thousand years.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1932, President Hoover orders the Army to evict bonus marchers from Anacostia Flats; author Malcolm Lowry born this day, as is Jackie Kennedy and Mike Bloomfield; Stephen Crane on consuming one's own heart.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Earth barely avoids being blasted by immense solar flare in 2012, astrophysicists say next time might not be so lucky.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1898, Nelson Miles leads American troops into Puerto Rico during Spanish-American War, Bob Dylan electrifies Newport Folk Festival in 1965, author and longshoreman Eric Hoffer born this day in 1902.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No charges to be filed inconnection with crash of city police cruiser, farmers group turn to Internet to raise money for solar project, Street Talk polls passersby about legal marijuana.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information for Friday, July 25, and easily digestible news tidbits: Mysterious enormous hole in the Siberian tundra baffles scientists.