Ryan rose to prominence this year as the author of the budget put forth by the GOP-controlled House and is regarded as a strong spokesman for the GOP's fiscal policy. The Journal is also reporting that Ryan's official announcement will clear the way for former GOP governor Tommy Thompson to declare his candidacy for the GOP nomination.
Should a GOP candidate capture the seat, he or she would join conservative Ron Johnson as Wisconsin's representatives in the U.S. Senate.
Here is the full statement from Ryan's office:
“I am grateful for the tremendous outpouring of encouragement that I have received from my friends and supporters since Senator Kohl announced he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate. For my family and me, the most important factor in making this decision was determining where I could make the biggest difference. Our nation is quickly approaching a debt crisis that will do serious damage to Wisconsinites and all Americans if it is not properly addressed. I believe continuing to serve as Chairman of the House Budget Committee allows me to have a greater impact in averting this debt-fueled economic crisis than if I were to run for the United States Senate.
House Republicans have taken bold steps forward in tackling our fiscal and economic challenges – we have led, where others have not. I want to keep building on this progress and therefore, I will seek to continue serving my employers of Wisconsin’s First District as their Representative in the House.”