Paul Ryan Wins Primary Race In Wisconsin

Email a Friend
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks at the Republican National Convention in July near Cleveland.

House Speaker Paul Ryan easily defeated conservative business executive Paul Nehlen in Wisconsin's primary Tuesday night.

"I am humbled and honored that Wisconsinites in the 1st Congressional District support my efforts to keep fighting on their behalf," said a statement Ryan released late Tuesday. "Janna and I are grateful to have the support of so many in southern Wisconsin, and we are truly thankful for all of their hard work."

Ryan was expected to defeat Nehlen, but the contest was expected to provide a gauge of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's effect on other Republican races.

Nehlen has frequently praised Trump during the campaign and Trump returned the compliment last week on social media, setting off a flap over whether the nominee would endorse Ryan.

Professor Mordecai Lee of the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee said the controversy may linger.

"So that even though Trump, last Friday in Wisconsin, gave a formal endorsement to Paul Ryan, it would still be correct to interpret the degree of votes that Nehlen gets as kind of a Trump vote," said Lee.

Nehlen says he agrees with Trump on many immigration and trade issues while Ryan has criticized some of the presidential nominee's remarks.

Elsewhere in the state, former U.S. senator Russ Feingold won the Democratic primary to retake a seat in the chamber. Feingold hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Ron Johnson this fall.

Copyright 2016 Wisconsin Public Radio. To see more, visit Wisconsin Public Radio.