Speaker Ryan's out, who will step up next? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Speaker Ryan's out, who will step up next?

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JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Now that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has made his official announcement he won’t be seeking re-election it’s a race for Republicans in Wisconsin to find the next candidate to step up. After serving 20 years in the 1st congressional seat, the Wisconsin GOP said they believe they have plenty of candidates on the sidelines to step in.

"Reality is we're going to lose a top republican in the nation so of course we're going to miss Speaker Ryan, but the reality is we have a strong bunch we have a lot great republicans who can step up and win the seat," said Andrew Iverson, Rock County GOP Chairman.

Those who can announce and are not ruled out are former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Wisconsin’s Assembly Speaker Robin Vos; Rep. Tyler August, Sen. David Craig, Rep. Samantha Kerkman and Bryan Steil - a Governor Walker appointee who’s an attorney and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents member.

Some of the best-known are Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Bryan Steil.

"He's (Steil) been in manufacturing for nine years and is real popular with grassroots folks,” said Iverson. “You have Speaker Vos, Senator Craig - so we have a strong bench here."

Steil said in a statement that “he has many constituents urging him to run and is giving it serious consideration.”

As for democrats already on the ballot Janesville School Teacher Cathy Myers said she's ready to connect with Speaker Ryan’s supporters.

"Those voters that were fans of his and I  think they we're dropping off because they didn't see him standing up to the chaos in the corruption in the Trump administration," said Myers.

Her opponent Randy Bryce from Racine send out a statement after the announcement.

"Paul Ryan decided to quit today rather than face Randy Bryce and the voters," said campaign Communications Director Lauren Hitt. "With nearly $5 million raised to date, a strong field program aided by organized labor, a broad coalition of support locally and nationally,  Randy Bryce is incredibly well positioned to be the next representative for the First District. Electorates far more conservative than Wisconsin's First have already elected Democrats in special elections in Wisconsin and across the country."

The GOP party is aware they’ll need to stand up against a potential blue wave hitting Wisconsin and said they'll be ready come November.

"We're gonna have to come back, the governor said it is a wake up call. We're gonna have to step up get our grassroots fired up to defeat the democrats in 2018," said Iverson.

Speaker Ryan's campaign team did say they don't have any plans to endorse someone if there's a republican in primary race to replace him. They also noted they will work to make sure a republican keeps the seat.

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