By Peter Schroeder - 11/07/12 03:33 AM EST
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) won reelection in his home district Tuesday, so he will be able to return to Congress if Mitt Romney's bid for the White House falls short.
NBC projected that Ryan won an eighth term in Wisconsin's 1st district, despite spending his time on the campaign trail touting Romney's candidacy as his vice presidential pick. With 19 percent of the vote counted, Ryan led his Democratic challenger, Rob Zerban, 62 percent to 36.
Ryan built a name for himself as chairman of the House Budget Committee. If he returns to the lower chamber, he technically has reached the six-year limit as head of the panel. But he could seek a waiver from the party leadership to continue leading it.
While campaigning for the Romney-Ryan ticket, the 42-year old lawmaker did run ads in his home district for his congressional seat. Wisconsin state law allowed him to run for both positions at once.