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Building a Race Against Ryan

Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call
Democrats are already talking about targeting House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan in 2012 in a race that would become nationalized overnight because of the debate over the future of Medicare.

Redistricting may have a big impact on Paul Ryans Congressional district, said Ali Lapp, executive director of the new Democratic political action committee House Majority PAC. Were definitely watching it. If it is a competitive district, well certainly consider playing there.

Beating Ryan, or even just giving him a tough race in 2012, would be considered payback for Democrats. National Republicans made a concerted effort to recruit top-tier challengers to Democratic chairmen in the 2010 cycle, and they ultimately knocked off three including then-Budget Chairman John Spratt (S.C.).

Zerban is very serious about his chances, but he isnt sure how seriously his opponent is taking him.

He recalled that he bumped into Ryan on a flight to Washington, D.C., in early May.

I said, I think Im going to be your opponent in this next cycle. He said, I look forward to running against you, if you make it through your primary, Zerban said, laughing. I said, You know, Paul, I dont think Im going to have a primary.

Joshua Miller contributed to this report.

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