Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce speaks Oct. 26, 2015, during a protest rally at Monument Square against U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. Bryce has announced he will seek Ryan's U.S. House seat in 2018. 

GREGORY SHAVER, Journal Times file photo

CALEDONIA — Randy Bryce said Wednesday that he has raised $430,000 in the opening days of his campaign to challenge House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2018.

Bryce’s campaign released fundraising totals after the second-quarter campaign finance deadline passed Friday. After launching his campaign on June 19, Bryce received more than 16,000 donations with an average donation of about $25, according to a news release.

The Caledonia resident received national attention after releasing a video highlighting his background as an ironworker and his mother’s battle against illness.

“Just a few weeks into this race, we have seen what can happen when you have the power of working people on your side, and I am excited to work with everyone as we continue this fight through next November,” Bryce said in the news release.

Fundraising totals for the other candidates were not yet available. Candidates have until July 15 to file their second-quarter reports.

Besides Bryce, two other Democrats are in the race: Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers; and David Yankovich, an Ohio resident who recently moved to Kenosha. Paul Nehlen has said he will run again in the Republican primary.

Every candidate faces an uphill financial battle against Ryan, a prolific fundraiser who reported nearly $9.4 million in cash on hand in his last campaign finance report.

Republicans on Wednesday seized on an interview Bryce gave to CNN in which he did not directly comment about escalating tensions with North Korea and said he plans to get better-educated on the issue.

“It’s no wonder that Wisconsinites have rejected Randy Bryce as a candidate three times — he can’t take a position until the Democrat party bosses in Washington tell him how to think,” state GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman said.

Bryce has also run unsuccessfully for state Assembly, State Senate and the Racine Unified School Board.

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