Wednesday’s announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan that he will not seek reelection this fall caused a shift in the Cook Political Report’s prediction of how Ryan’s district will vote this fall, moving it from a “solid Republican” to “lean Republican” seat.
No serious Republican candidate had been running against Ryan for the nomination. But now with his impending retirement, Republicans have until the June 1 filing deadline to find another candidate to best Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist who lost handily to Ryan in the 2016 GOP primary.
Democrats have already put their strongest foot forward in the district in years. Ironworker Randy Bryce is the favorite in the Democratic primary because of his prolific fundraising — he ended the first quarter of 2018 with $2.3 million in the bank, a significant haul for a candidate running against such a strong Republican opponent.