U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said on April 11 that he’d not seek re-election and since then the field of candidates for the Republican nomination has been growing.
When Ryan announced he was stepping down, his most well-known opponent for the Republican nomination was Paul Nehlen, a far-right candidate known for spreading anti-Semitic tropes.
More Republicans have now been entering the race, apparently seeing an opening. Nick Polce, Jeremy Ryan, Kevin Steen, Bryan Steil and Jeff Wamboldt will all be on the Aug. 14 ballot in Ryan’s Janesville-area district. The filing deadline to run for the spot, currently held by the Speaker of the House, is June 1.
Steil, who announced his candidacy April 22, is a former Paul Ryan aide and current University of Wisconsin Regent. Wamboldt, who announced April 19, is a Kenosha County supervisor and police officer. Steen and Polce are political newcomers and Jeremy Ryan is a prominent liberal protester.
The Republican Jewish Coalition has urged the party to seek an alternative to Nehlen.
“Although a fringe candidate with abhorrent neo-Nazi views was already running against the Speaker, we are very confident that with the leadership of the Wisconsin GOP, the eventual Republican nominee to fill Paul Ryan’s House seat (WI-01) will be someone who upholds the GOP’s best values and traditions,” Matt Brooks, the RJC’s director, said in an April statement.