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.”

Django Freeman March 21, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Will Zerban be running as a Communist?
Kurt Bateman March 21, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Fadness uses the same old tired rhetoric that the Romney / Ryan Ticket rode to defeat in 2012. There won't be the high profile national race and the debate over Ryan's defeatist austerity budget ideas will be joined in a within-the- district contest in 2014.....Lets roll!
C. Sanders March 21, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Hey Rob ... Get a real job. Politics is pure fiction.
Run Rob! March 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Couldn't have a better candidate defeat lying Ryan.
c March 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Defeatist to spend less and stay within a manageable budget. Kurt Bateman, you fail at life.
Bren March 21, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Zerban's got my vote. Hopefully Karl Rove's new Super PAC will be successful in pushing the Tea Party back to the nether reaches of the GOP. Tea-prototypes like Ryan (and Walker for that matter), who garner no real moderate support, also give traditional conservatism a strident tone it doesn't need. Traditional conservatism is about the empowerment of people, not "survival of the fittest." There's a profound difference between the true conservative and the piggy-mindedness of the Tea Party.
Mike Itzenhuiser March 21, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Zerban doesn't stand a chance.
Paul Apicella March 21, 2013 at 03:17 PM
I've told Ryan that I will vote for an orange juice can rather than a RINO like him. He is NOT a Republican and neither am I! I am a Conservative. Ryan has voted with Boehner on everything.
Dirk March 21, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Wow, the Madison-Chicago leftist oligarchy must really fear Paul Ryan. Especially since President Ryan will have to clean up this mess created by this failed experiment in 2017.
Tony Paladino March 21, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Hey Rob, you already had an exploratory committee, it was called the 2012 election. Go away now and let some other loser try.
Bren March 21, 2013 at 04:21 PM
And Boehner can't control the Koch-fueled Tea Party faction in Congress. The Koch brothers handed Rove his derrierre in 2012 and Rove is determined not to have a repeat performance of Tea Party candidates winning primaries who have little/no chance in general elections. Ryan's success in getting re-elected has been in a largely uninformed voter base. As they learn more about his infatuation with Ayn Rand, willingness to experiment with other people's secure old ages, and inability to formulate a sensible budget, his base will shrink. He was recently re-elected true, but by a lower margin. Don't worry about him too much if he loses an election in the future. He's a millionaire with a cushy Congressional pension and healthcare plan to look forward to thanks to ignorant voters in his district and the rest of us taxpayers.
Tansandy March 21, 2013 at 07:51 PM
While attending the Day In The Country in Rochester last year before the election, I was sitting with my friend having a cup of coffee. Up walks upbeat Rob Zerban and starts pandering for our vote. He told us all the great programs he would be voting for and implementing. He asked for our votes. We then asked where does he propose to find all the funding for these new and existing programs. He looked shaken and told us "you don't understand how Washington works", and walked away without saying anything else. Yes Rob, we do understand how Washington works. That's why your not there!!! And I'll try hard to make sure you never get the chance. Another tax and spend liberal.
Django Freeman March 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Let's face it... Zerban sucks. He should save his money and the money of his demented supporters.
Django Freeman March 21, 2013 at 08:27 PM
You must be his friend or on his staff.
Greg March 22, 2013 at 01:19 AM
Vote with Bren or you're an idiot!
Greg March 22, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Unfortunately for Rob the election is 4 months after the voters feel some of the real impact of Obamacare.
Jason Patzfahl March 22, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Paul Ryan lost in his he town and in his own ward to Zerban. Ron Zerban is an actual job creator from the private sector, while Ryan has only been a bartender, an intern in his family business and a lifelong government employee sucking off the teet of middle class Americans gullible enough to vote for this Eddie Munster look alike. America said "no" to Ryan and his extreme right wing ideology, yet he just reintroduced it again in his budget, which is nothing more than a kick to the head of middle class citizens. Zerban has my vote and he stands a decent chance of knocking Ryan off next round!
Greg March 22, 2013 at 02:46 AM
The district went to Ryan 55% to Zerban's 43% and Ryan didn't spend any time on the campaign, Zerban could run against a dead man and lose.
Jason Patzfahl March 22, 2013 at 03:00 AM
Last year Zeban raised $2.3 million in the effort to unseat Paul Ryan - A record! And that 55% - 43% was the lowest margin of victory Ryan has ever gotten - AND the First District was the closest 2012 Congressional election in Wisconsin -- all while Ryan had the national spotlight as Mitt Romney's running mate and pretty boy sidekick . - Imagine how close it will be without all that outside $ coming in and the spotlight shining on someone else next time around...I sense a change!!! And FYI - Zerban holds his listening sessions in the evenings when working people can attend, unlike Ryan, who only holds his "listening" sessions during the day when only my grandparents can attend... figure that!!! Have you ever even met Zerban? I have - and he is twice the actual job creator Paul Ryan is claiming to want to be. Maybe Ryan will lose and enter the private sector for once (not as an intern in the family business please) and either create some actual jobs, like Zerban has, or get a real job, like Zerban has had. And BTW, you can stream "The Munsters" on Netflix if Ryan loses and you have to get your fix of Eddie Munster/Paul Ryan.
Greg March 22, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Tell us more about Zerban's job creation and successful private sector career, when I asked him he refused to reply. Did Zerban play Whitey on Leave it to Beaver?
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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