Politics

Paul Nehlen Launches 2nd Challenge Against Ryan

Nehlen lost last year’s GOP primary by nearly 70 points

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is currently serving his 10th term in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman Paul Nehlen announced Friday that he is launching another primary challenge against Speaker Paul D. Ryan, despite losing to Ryan by 68 points in the 2016 primary.

The Wisconsin Republican’s primary bid last year garnered media attention due in part to then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who initially stopped short endorsing Ryan while praising Nehlen for running a good campaign. Ryan also delayed endorsing Trump even after Trump had locked up the nomination, saying Trump had to do more to unify the party.

Nehlen invoked Trump in his campaign announcement, referencing reports that Ryan told his GOP colleagues that he was done defending Trump after an Access Hollywood tape showed Trump bragging about sexually aggressive behavior. 

“Speaker Ryan didn’t help Mr. Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, and even pledged not to defend the president,” Nehlen said in a statement. “But I have a message for Speaker Ryan: The American people are not done fighting for President Trump’s good agenda.”

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Ryan's race in the southeast Wisconsin district as Solid Republican. But at least three Democrats have already announced their intention to challenge Ryan.   

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.