Ironworker Randy Bryce Challenges Paul Ryan In Powerful New Ad: ‘Let’s Trade Places’

There are more than 500 days until the midterm election, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is already facing his second challenger. 

Randy Bryce, a union ironworker, announced on Monday that he would seek the Democratic nomination to run against Ryan, and released a video emphasizing what has so far been the biggest issue of the year: health care. 

The two-and-a-half-minute video featured Bryce’s mother, who described living with multiple sclerosis and the 20 drugs she must take to survive. 

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are thousands of people like her who don’t have what she has,” Bryce said in the video. “The system is extremely flawed.”

After discussing his family, his work and his local roots, Bryce issued a challenge to Ryan.

“Let’s trade places,” Bryce said. “Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron and I’ll go to D..” 

According to a campaign news release, Bryce is a cancer survivor, community activist and Army veteran. He’s also run unsuccessfully twice for the state legislature, The Associated Press reported.

Republicans were quick to seize on that.

“The voters of Wisconsin have already rejected Randy Bryce multiple times,” the Republican Party of Wisconsin said in a statement cited by the Racine Journal Times. “Instead of fighting for hardworking Wisconsin families, Randy Bryce will say and do anything to get to Washington and defend his liberal special interest friends.”

Before he can face Ryan, however, Bryce will have to win the nomination. Last month, David Yankovich announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for the district. The 31-year-old Navy vet told the Kenosha News that he moved from Ohio to Wisconsin earlier this year just to challenge Ryan.

Whoever wins the primary in August 2018 will face Ryan two decades after he first won the seat. Ryan has easily won reelection ever since, last year taking 65 percent of the vote, per Ballotpedia. 

The district hasn’t elected a Democrat to Congress since a 1993 special election.

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