Hopeful Paul Ryan challenger Randy Bryce had a promising start to his campaign. He announced his plans to run for the House speaker's seat in Wisconsin with a compelling video back in June that struck the right chords with the public. In it, Bryce shares how his mom struggles with multiple sclerosis and takes several drugs to deal with the pain.
The Republicans attempt to repeal Obamacare, Bryce says, will make life much harder for people like his mom who don't have the resources to pay for their medicine.
Bryce goes on to introduce himself as an iron worker who has lived in southeast Wisconsin his whole life.
"I work hard and I earn every penny that I make," Bryce says.
"I decided to run for office," he says, "because not everyone gets a seat at the table, and it's time to make a bigger table."
In addition to being an iron worker of 20 years, Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, and cancer survivor. His introduction video and the message that went along with it was a hit, going viral and earning him a slew of fundraisers and media hits.
Other candidates introduced themselves as contenders for Ryan's seat, but "the imagination had been captured" by Randy, Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan (WI) said, explaining why the Democrats were going all in for his campaign.
He seemed like an impressive candidate. Yet, the media did a little digging to discover some of Bryce's personal baggage. They found that he had failed to tell Wisconsin voters was that he was delinquent on paying his child support for nearly two years.
The state placed a lien on Bryce's meager property holdings in September 2015 because he had fallen behind on his child support payments. Bryce paid off the $1,257 debt on Aug. 31, two months after launching his congressional bid.
While most would agree this is not great publicity for the candidate, Bryce's campaign is suggesting it's actually a positive development because it reveals that Bryce knows the struggles of everyday folks.
"Unlike Ryan, he knows what it's like to struggle and will approach his job from a place of deep understanding as opposed to zero empathy," Bryce's campaign manager David Keith said.
Election Day for Speaker Ryan and his eventual opponent is Nov. 6, 2018.