Wisconsinites are about to get a double dose of Paul Ryan on the airwaves.Mitt Romney’s running mate is also running for re-election to his House seat in Janesville, Wis., and will start running ads for that campaign on Wednesday.”
As Ryan for Congress has done in years past, we will be airing ads in the Milwaukee and Madison TV media markets in the run up to the November election,” said Ryan’s congressional campaign manager, Kevin Seifert.
The first ad will focus on “the critical choice before voters this November and the importance of electing leaders who are capable of advancing solutions that get America back on track.”
The spot is one in a series that will be rolled out through Election Day.
News of the spot comes as Romney launches his first television ads in Wisconsin this week; they will air most prominently in the Milwaukee media market, according to a Politico report.
Ryan is running in two races this fall because Wisconsin law prohibited him from dropping his House re-election bid after the June deadline to do so. He won his first congressional bid handily in 1998 and hasn’t faced serious competition since. Democrat Rob Zerban, the Kenosha County supervisor, is making a more energetic bid, but trails Ryan in polls by significant margins.
The congressman is sitting on a $4 million war chest that he cannot draw on for his vice presidential campaign. Ryan’s campaign says the congressman is not hedging his bets, but had planned to run re-election ads all along. “The congressional ads were filmed before the VP announcement, so all the planning wasn’t something we pulled together,” said Seifert. Ryan filmed the ads on Aug. 4, 6, and 7 in his hometown of Janesville, Seifert said. Ryan agreed to join the ticket on Aug. 5 and was officially announced as Romney’s running mate on Aug. 11 in Norfolk, Va.
Ryan isn’t the first vice presidential candidate to run for two seats: Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman did so in 2008 and 2000, respectively. Biden also ran ads for his Senate re-election bid in Delaware. But Wisconsin is a competitive battleground state this cycle. Ryan’s congressional and vice presidential campaigns run as two separate entities, but Republicans hope the lawmaker’s hometown appeal transfers to the top of the ticket. Polls show a tightening race in the Badger State, which hasn’t backed a Republican for president since 1984.
This story was originally published by RealClearPolitics.
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