Ryan Challenger Randy Bryce Raised $2.1 Million Last Quarter

Wisconsin Democrat faces long odds in challenge to speaker

Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who is challenging Speaker Paul D. Ryan in the 1st District, raised $2 million in the last fundraising quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, a long-shot challenger to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, raised $2.1 million in the most recent fundraising quarter, his campaign announced Monday.

Bryce, an ironworker, gained national attention last year for his campaign announcement ad that highlighted his personal story and took aim at Ryan for pushing for the repeal of the 2010 health care law.

Bryce’s bid for the 1st District has raised a total $4.75 million so far — and the $2.1 million raised in the most recent quarter is nearly double the $1.2 million raised the previous quarter, his campaign said. His campaign also reported having $2.3 million in cash on hand.

But even with the fundraising haul, challenging Ryan will not be easy for Bryce — or any Democrat.

The Wisconsin Republican and former 2012 vice presidential nominee won a 10th term in 2016 with almost 65 percent of the vote while President Donald Trump was carrying the district by 10 points. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican.

But Bryce’s team is trying to draw comparisons between his campaign and Conor Lamb, the Democrat who pulled off a surprise victory in a Pennsylvania special election last month. 

“Trump only won our district by 10, he won PA-18 by 19,” spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in an email.

Watch: Pelosi: Lamb Win in Republican District a ‘Tremendous Victory’

The campaign also said it put out a broadcast television ad worth $100,000 in the beginning of March.

“No one else has gone up that far against the speaker,” Hitt said. “We’re still up today.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping an eye on Bryce. His race was put on its Red to Blue list late last month.

Meanwhile, Ryan has been the subject of recent speculation that he might either resign or decide against running for re-election. He said in January he had not yet made a decision about running again because that was something he and his wife wait until the spring of every election year to discuss. Wisconsin’s filing deadline is June 1. 

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