Ryan challenger fundraises off deleted tweet on $1.50 pay hike

Ryan challenger fundraises off deleted tweet on $1.50 pay hike
© Greg Nash

A Democratic challenger to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Soaring deficits could put Trump in a corner if there's a recession Paul Ryan moving family to Washington MORE (R-Wis.) has raised more than $150,000 after Ryan deleted a controversial tweet highlighting a Pennsylvania woman's $1.50 per week paycheck increase due to the new tax law.

The campaign for Democratic candidate Randy Bryce said it has raised that amount in the 48 hours since the tweet was deleted Saturday afternoon. 

Bryce, a union ironworker, encouraged supporters to donate $1.50, and about 5,800 of the contributions were of that amount. The campaign said it received donations from all 50 states and that the average contribution amount was $12.39.

"Speaker Ryan believes this tax bill will help him and other Republicans get reelected in November, but the overwhelming support we received shows that people across the country are unsurprisingly opposed to giving millions in tax breaks to billionaires," said Bryce campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in a statement. 

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Ryan was widely criticized by Democrats on social media after he tweeted on Saturday morning a link to an Associated Press article about taxpayers seeing bigger paychecks because of the tax law.

He focused the tweet on the story of Julia Ketchum, a high school secretary from Pennsylvania who told the AP that she was pleasantly surprised to see an increase of $1.50 per week in her paycheck, which would "more than cover her Costco membership."

Democrats attacked Ryan for the tweet, arguing that it shows that the middle class will get a much smaller benefit than the windfall corporations and wealthy individuals will receive. Ryan deleted the tweet later in the day on Saturday.

Bryce faces long odds in defeating Ryan, and the Speaker still has a sizable fundraising advantage in the race.

As of Dec. 31, Ryan had about $9.65 million in cash on hand, while Bryce had about $1.3 million on hand, according to Federal Election Commission data.

Politico first reported on Bryce's fundraising numbers.

Updated at 2:50 p.m.