GOP holds Paul Ryan’s seat

GOP holds Paul Ryan’s seat
© Matt Litman

The GOP looks set to hold retiring Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers FEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday MORE’s seat in Wisconsin, as Republican Brian Steil is projected to win a closely watched race against Democrat Randy Bryce, an ironworker nicknamed “Ironstache.”

Democrats had seized on the potential pick-up opportunity in the wake of Ryan’s retirement, launching a multi-million dollar effort to flip the seat and garnering national attention in the process.

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But Steil’s opponent, Bryce, was unable to overcome GOP-led attacks on his long arrest record and liberal policy positions. The district, which encompasses rural farmland and some of the Milwaukee suburbs, went for Ryan by 35 points and President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE by 10 points in 2016.

Steil also benefited from the support - and campaign war chests - of party heavyweights including Ryan, his former boss.

Steil, 37, got his start in politics working as a legislative aide for Ryan from 2003 to 2004. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin law school, the Janesville-native became an attorney for several manufacturing companies.