RACINE COUNTY — Perhaps no other congressional seat in the state is getting more attention than the 1st District's, currently held by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In April, Ryan made the surprise announcement that he was not going to be seeking re-election after more than 19 years in the seat.
On Friday, the date of the filing deadline for the race, nine candidates had submitted paperwork to run for the seat.
For the first time since the 1998 election, there will not be an incumbent in the race to be the next representative for the district.
Republicans are hoping to hang on to the seat.
“Republicans stand ready to support and elect another bold conservative reformer who will continue to carry-on Paul Ryan’s legacy of getting things done for hard-working Wisconsin families,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Our candidates stand in stark contrast to the out-of-touch Democrats running on an extreme agenda.”
On the Democratic side, Randy Bryce, an iron worker and labor activist from Caledonia, and Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers will face off in a primary on Aug. 14.
Democrats hope one of their candidates can flip the seat for the first time since the early 1990s, when Peter Barca held the seat for a term.
“The Democratic Party of Wisconsin remains neutral in primary races but we have two incredible congressional candidates whose values and priorities are so much more closely aligned with the people of Wisconsin,” said Melanie Conklin, communications director for DPW. “Democrats are fired up about our opportunities to represent the real priorities of the people in the 1st Congressional District in every single office on the ballot.”
On the Republican side, multiple candidates are looking to hang on to Ryan’s seat which includes UW System Regent Bryan Steil of Janesville, Lake Geneva resident Nick Polce, Burlington resident Kevin Adam Steen, Delavan resident Paul Nehlen, Madison resident Jeremy Ryan and Brad Boivin of Nashotah.
Racine resident Ken Yorgan is also running for the 1st District as an independent.
James Germalic is running on the “Christian Political Party. Pro-life; Pro-poor,” ticket. His place of residency was not available as of Friday afternoon.