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Zerban Exploring Another Run at Ryan in 2014

The Kenosha Democrat is putting together an exploratory committee about whether or not he should challenge Rep. Paul Ryan for the First Congressional District in 2014.

First Congressional District voters could see a rematch in 2014 when Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, is up for re-election.

Kenosha Democrat Rob Zerban announced Wednesday that he is putting together an exploratory committee to vet his chances in another run at Ryan.

Zerban's announcement comes on the same day that House of Representatives will vote on Ryan's newest budget, which Zerban describes as gutting Medicare and rewarding wealthy Americans.

"Since the election, I have been inundated with phone calls and emails from people all over the First District urging me to come forward again to give the people of Southeast Wisconsin a viable alternative to Paul Ryan," Zerban said in his written release. "My hope is that, over the next few months, we will begin to have a conversation about what the people of the Wisconsin's First District really want: a secure future, not federal austerity."

Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Joe Fadness countered, calling Zerban's 2012 campaign negative, desperate and lacking substance.

"Zerban’s 2012 campaign was light on substance and heavy on misleading falsehoods. If elected, he would be nothing more than a rubber stamp the destructive policies of President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s that have left this nation with record debt, high unemployment and ruinous spending," he wrote in a statement after Zerban made his announcement.

But Zerban pointed out that he is the first Democratic candidate in recent years to give Ryan a more serious run for his money.

"(Zerban's campaign) shaved nearly 20 points off Ryan's average victory margin, even while Ryan was on a presidential ticket with Mitt Romney," the statement reads. "It was the closest 2012 Congressional election in Wisconsin and caused Paul Ryan to lose his home ward, his home town, and his home county."

Fadness shrugged Zerban's assertion off, pointing out Ryan's popularity:

"Congressman Ryan is one of the nation’s leading taxpayer advocates. He has a strong record of working to balance the budget, reduce the tax burden facing the middle class families and give job creators the tools they need to grow the economy.”

Edward Willing March 24, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Bren tries to make a point about Paul Ryan getting a smaller margin, when he was running on the ballot twice and attached to the name of a man (Romney) who lost the same county. Go on, pretend that had nothing to do with it. Lol Meanwhile, elections experts were somewhat surprised he survived his unique challenge, because most people would have questions about voting twice.
Edward Willing March 24, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Lol! "No real moderate support" despite walker winning the governor race twice, in a state that voted for Obama and Tammy Baldwin, and Ryan winning a district that did the same? Your analytic skills and completely absent from most things you type. You literally just spit things out hoping they stick, don't you?
Keith R. Deschler May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I ran as a Libertarian against both Rob and Ryan last year. Both fail the basic test I have for partisan candidates. Neither will get to a balanced budget anytime soon, and neither wants to make a meaningful, and long overdue, downsizing of the federal government. Tansandy, you show exactly the problem with Zerban. He uses the upbeat, nicely groomed "small businessman" persona to greet you, and then he pushes the "tax, spend, and elect" garbage that is a staple of the liberal left. I'm sure he'll try the same doubletalk on taxes and spending that he did last time. Remember "$2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes"? Then he went over to the "Progressive People's Budget", which is a massive tax hike and mega-stimulus program that is light years removed from fiscal prudence. The small business success that he was is legit, I believe, but he really has morphed into the same kind of career politician he claims to be appalled by in Ryan. I don't plan on a run next year, but I do believe that Zerban cannot have it both ways, with both the pro-business moderate and pro-socialist leftist coming out of his mouth. He will lose again to Ryan, who knows how to argue his views and position them quite effectively. Ryan in a debate with Zerban will make mince meat of him, and his many flip flops. No vice president running mate issues next year, and a popular GOP governor at the top of the ticket, and Ryan cruises to another term.
Keith R. Deschler May 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Greg, that's a bit surprising, although I wonder if he senses that someone who dares ask about his business background is a Ryan "troll". You know darn well that most of the minions that vote for the Zerbans, Obamas, and Baldwins of the world don't give a rat's rump about business success, private sector job creation, and fiscal prudence, except as metaphors to woo independents and swing voters. I was only given one forum with Rob, and he put on more of the moderate side for the folks in a heavily GOP area (Fontana, in Walworth county). The next day, on a radio interview, he came out with the lefty budget with all the spending "cuts" going to pay for stimulus. I see him using the businessman line as a fig leaf, and his current rhetoric is far more on the left than it is on the center. Ryan will get closer to 60% next time, and Zerban goes back to the kitchen, where he belongs. Better to cook the chickens than to cook the books, Rob.
Will737 July 09, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Can you imagine some Republican so pathetic so as to claim a screen name of Jango Freeman? Could you also imagine that he, like the famous drunk, Joseph McCarthy [who died at the age of 48 from being a drunk] is on this board trying to claim that Zerban is some kind of Communist? Hopefully, the people of Wisconsin will vote in Zerban. To vote in another William Proxmier [who replaced McCarthy] would be great.

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