Bryan Steil Becomes GOP Front-Runner to Win Paul Ryan's Seat - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Bryan Steil Becomes GOP Front-Runner to Win Paul Ryan's Seat

Steil, an attorney and Ryan's former driver, announced Sunday he is running for Congress



    Bryan Steil Becomes GOP Front-Runner to Win Paul Ryan's Seat
    House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., center, leaves a news conference after announcing that he will not run for re-election at the end of this term, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    A former driver for House Speaker Paul Ryan who has been active in Wisconsin Republican politics for years announced Sunday that he is running to succeed Ryan in Congress.

    Bryan Steil, an attorney from Ryan's hometown of Janesville and a member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, becomes the likely Republican front-runner after the field of better-known potential candidates cleared for his entry.

    "I want to take my problem-solving skills to Congress. I think they need problem solvers, doers ... not talkers," Steil said in prepared remarks announcing his candidacy.

    He cited the need for a good education, quality schools and skilled workers for jobs of the future.

    Paul Ryan Cites Family as Reason for Retirement

    [NATL] Paul Ryan Cites Family as Reason for Retirement

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his plan to retire in January from the House of Representatives, saying he wants to spend more time with his wife and three children.

    (Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018)

    "I want to take our Wisconsin work ethic and my problem-solving experience to Washington's non-stop crisis factory," he said.

    Steil, 37, entered the race less than two weeks after Ryan said he would not seek re-election. Ryan said Friday that he had no immediate plans to endorse anyone.

    Steil has been a regent since 2016 and works as general counsel and secretary at Charter NEX Films Inc., an independent producer of polyethylene film used for food and consumer packaging. Steil, whose name is pronounced "style," worked as Ryan's personal driver from 2003 to 2004.

    Steil is the first vice chairman on the Rock County Republican board and is well-known to GOP activists in Ryan's southeastern Wisconsin congressional district, even though he doesn't have a high public profile.

    That will change in the coming weeks, with money expected to pour into the district as Republicans look to keep the seat and to avoid a potentially embarrassing Democratic win.

    Among the other Republicans running for the seat are two former Ryan opponents. One of them, Jeremy Ryan, is known for riding his Segway and being a prominent liberal protester in Madison. He got 6 percent of the vote against Ryan in 2014.

    Democrats Visit Detention Center In McAllen, Texas

    [NATL] Democrats Visit Detention Center In McAllen, Texas

    A delegation comprised of 25 Democratic members of Congress visited a detention center in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday and criticized the Trump Administration over its immigration policies.>

    (Published Saturday, June 23, 2018)

    Another candidate, Paul Nehlen, was banned by Twitter for racist and anti-Semitic posts earlier this year and lost to Ryan in the 2016 primary by 68 percentage points. Ryan's campaign, among others, has said Nehlen is not fit to hold office.

    Two other GOP candidates, security consulting firm co-owner and former Green Beret Nick Polce and applications engineer Kevin Adam Steen, are political newcomers.

    On the Democratic side, union iron worker Randy Bryce faces Janesville teacher Cathy Myers. Bryce, who made a national splash with his launch video and nickname "Iron Stache," has been leading in fundraising and was put on the national House Democrats' list of top challengers in Republican-held districts even before Ryan stepped aside.

    In a statement, Bryce campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt called Steil "part of the institutional Republican swamp that believes we should give tax breaks to the wealthy and pay for it by attacking working people's retirements and healthcare."

    Myers criticized Steil's record as regent. "Voters don't want another rubber stamp in Washington, they want a representative who will fight for them," Myers said in a statement.

    The primary is Aug. 14.

    Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    [NATL] Trump to GOP: Stop Wasting Time on Immigration

    After repeatedly calling on Congress to solve the immigration problem, President Donald Trump now wants lawmakers to delay immigration reform until after the midterm elections in November. 

    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)

    The district runs from the Illinois border north to the southern suburbs of Milwaukee and includes the blue collar cities of Janesville, Beloit and Kenosha. But it also reaches into conservative Waukesha County and includes more Republican-friendly rural areas, which has helped Ryan win re-election over his 20-year career by at least 55 points each time.

    President Donald Trump won the district by more than 10 percentage points while winning statewide by less than a point. In the race for an open Wisconsin Supreme Court seat earliest this month, the conservative candidate won the district by over 5 points while losing statewide by 12.

    Blake Gober is a Republican strategist who is helping run Steil's campaign for Congress. Gober said he first met Steil in 2011 when Gober was working on then-Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser's campaign.

    "Whenever there's been a conservative candidate, he's been out there supporting them, working for them in whatever way possible," Gober said of Steil. "The grassroots knows him and trusts him."

    Gober said that even though Steil has been closely tied with Ryan, he won't be viewed as a "creature" of Madison or Washington because he's never run for office.

    "He's going to run as Bryan Steil, not as the second coming of Paul Ryan," Gober said.

    States to Collect Online Sales Tax

    [NATL] States to Collect Online Sales Tax
    The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can now require online businesses to collect sales tax, even if that business doesn't have a physical footprint there. The new ruling reverses a previous decision dating back to the days when shoppers flipped through catalogs instead of swiping through computer screens. 
    One government estimate says states stand to reap up to $13 billion in new revenue
    (Published Friday, June 22, 2018)