The army veteran and ironworker took one giant step forward to Washington after Paul Ryan announced he wont seek re-election in Congress
Randy Bryce doesnt look like your typical congressman. But this week the thick-set ironworker with an inky black mustache that gave him his Iron Stache nickname took one giant step towards Washington.
Bryce, a 53-year-old army veteran, is running for Wisconsins first congressional district, the seat held by the House speaker, Paul Ryan, since he first won office in 1998. While Bryce was polling well,and his campaign out-raised Ryans by $1.75m in the first three months of 2018, his run looked sure to face fierce competition from the well-heeled Republican candidate who has the backing of the rightwing billionaire Koch brothers.
But on Wednesday Ryan announced he was out the latest high-profile Republican to head for the exit in the Trump administration. We just repealed Paul Ryan, Bryce wrote on Twitter shortly after the news broke. Now its time to replace him.
Bruce said: We pushed him out. One thing I have never accused Paul Ryan of being is stupid. Its obvious we have been able to build something incredible the likes of which he has never experienced in his 20 years in politics. The fight is out of him.
Ryans decision is a major blow for the Trump administration, said Bryce. Hes one of the last people to hop off this sinking ship.
There was already a palpable air of excitement last week when I visited Bryce in his campaign office in Racine, next door to the Black Hand tattoo parlour in this rusting industrial town on the banks of Lake Michigan. On the table by the entrance was a pile of fake mustaches the campaign hands out to supporters. A pen resembling Donald Trump barks quotes from the president when you press it: Look, I am really rich, it says. I will be the greatest president God ever created.