Randy Bryce (D) is challenging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) for re-election in Wisconsin’s first congressional district. A mustachioed Army veteran and union iron worker (he tweets @IronStache), Bryce has exactly the sort of crossover appeal that makes him a serious contender in blue-collar Wisconsin.
Bryce’s campaign is off to a strong start. Though the 2018 congressional election is more than a year away, his first campaign ad nails Ryan for leading the charge to repeal and replace Obamacare. For Bryce, Ryan’s attack on the historic healthcare legislation is personal.
Bryce himself is a cancer survivor, and his mother suffers from multiple sclerosis. In the ad, he explains:
“There are thousands of people like her who don’t have what she has. The system is extremely flawed. I work every day so that me and my son have insurance. … I can see what people need.”
The ad is both a pointed attack on Ryan and the Trump administration and an emotional demand for greater compassion toward those who will be most affected by the Obamacare rollback. Jack Moore of GQ called it the “campaign ad of the year.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Bryce said:
“My values are my neighbors’ values, and we know that Washington has gotten way off track. Whether it’s healthcare, jobs, national security, education, or the environment, there’s not one issue where Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are headed in the right direction. It’s time for a change in Congress.”
Bryce is the President of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He previously made unsuccessful bids as a representative in the Wisconsin state assembly in 2012 and as a state senator in 2014.
Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998 and has never had a serious challenger. Last year, he defeated Democrat Ryan Solen by 35 points. But as President Donald Trump continues to pull the rest of his party down with him, Ryan – like all his Republican colleagues – is vulnerable.
Bryce also faces a challenge from the Left in the form of David Yankovich (D), an Ohio transplant and political activist. Yankovich has published on Huffington Post, Raw Story, and elsewhere.
Check out Bryce’s campaign announcement here (after the jump):
Featured image via YouTube.