Rep. Paul Ryan will have an opponent after all

On Saturday, our own Proud Progressive noted that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) might not have an opponent in this year’s election, but it appears Rep. Ryan will have an opponent after all, as indicated by Paulette Garin, a Democratic candidate for Rep. Ryan’s seat in 2008 (and who was considering a run this year:

Garin was informed that 1st CD Executive Board of the Democratic Party, in what she considers an 11th hour move to save face, has apparently chosen to rally around and support Board Member, John Heckenlivey, as their candidate for Congress. Through emails and phone calls, Garin learned that the Board, contrary to the long standing policy of not siding or acting on behalf of one candidate over another met Saturday, July 10, and chose to organize a last minute drive to assist Heckenlively in collecting over 1,000 signatures by the Tuesday filing deadline.

“The irony about all of this is that after over a year of conducting a search for a moneyed candidate they anoint John at the last minute who intends to run the very kind of grassroots campaign I asked them to consider all along.”

“While I am disappointed that the party took so long to embrace the idea of a grassroots campaign, the good news is they finally appear motivated to take measurable action. Still, it is impossible for me to perceive most of the leadership in a serious manner. Therefore, I am sitting this one out so that the focus of the next few months is on defeating Paul Ryan and not the dysfunctionality of the Democratic Party.”

I don’t know anything about John Heckenlively, but what I can’t help but wonder is what exactly he’ll bring to the table as the Democratic Party’s standard bearer in the 1st Congressional District race that Paulette Garin wouldn’t have brought to the table.

It’ll be interesting to see how the 1st CD Executive Board rationalizes their decision to hand-pick their preferred candidate to run against Rep. Ryan, and while their decision is disappointing, it’s certainly not surprising, considering the Democratic Party here in Wisconsin has made a habit of hand-picking their preferred candidates in races all across the state.


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18 thoughts on “Rep. Paul Ryan will have an opponent after all

  1. John Heckenlively?? Are you serious? John’s a nice guy but seriously he has ZERO chance, He’s to teh Left of Ralph Nadar! Too bad, I would’ve liked to have seen the Libertarian candidate get the anti-Ryan vote. I like Paul and I am confident he will win overwhelmingly! But it still would be nice to see the Libertarians preform well.

    This will be fun for my friend John though…he has a great sense of humour, and thick skin..and he will need it!

        1. I’m as partisan as anyone, but there’s no way John Heckenlively beats Paul Ryan, especially in a year that doesn’t favor Democrats. Heck, even in a year that does favor Democrats Heckenlively probably wouldn’t have a chance.

  2. Im as anti Paul Ryan as anyone and I agree with you zach, and I dont even know heckenlively. The sad thing is ryan is beatable with a concerted well financed campaign.

    The winning message could be that he is trying to keep american jobs here and against free trade agreements. He could use Paul ryans ads verbatim from the last election season, since it appeared that ryan stole them from Feingold.

  3. There are a number of issue here:

    1. Garin did not win the primary, Krupp did. Paulette has acted like the placeholder but did not earn that right.
    2. Garin has trashed Democrats for the last year non-stop. She believes her perspective indicates integrity, but when Dems express their own perspective she whines and says they’re being disloyal to her. You can’t have it both ways – you’re either on the team or you’re not. Garin has not been a team player.
    3. I would have to say Heckenlively knows he can’t win, but will give Ryan a run and make him use up a good portion of that war chest that would have gone to Republican candidates and their races.
    4. Mark Pienkos has been a non-starter for the 1st CD. He is a nice man and is sincere, but a poor leader with no fire and no vision. He needs to step aside so others can fill the duty he has abdicated.

  4. The Garin / Krupp battle soured a lot of Democrats and was the source of a lot of bad blood in the 1st CD over the 2008 cycle.

    Prediction: Ryan 68%, Heckenlively 31%

    I like John, don’t get me wrong, and he’s a great force and advocate for the Racine county party. I also like that, for once, there’s a candidate NOT from Kenosha county!

  5. Bryan…whatever the number is. That will be only the very firm Dem Believers, just like Alvin Greene. If it’s 31% I’ll be surprised. I think Joe Kexel the Libertarian might get a nice slice of votes this time. 5-10% Especially since a lot of us Conservative/ Libertarian usually vote republican.. we could feel comfortable voting Libertarian since Ryan won’t lose.

  6. Great take on the mighty Paul Ryan here:

    If Republicans made a serious run at passing Ryan’s road map the party would end up just slightly more popular than the Taliban. I think there would literally not be a single demographic or interest group in the entire country still supporting them. Even the tea partiers would start pretending to be Democrats. Hell, they’d probably take up the cause of repealing the 22nd amendment and allowing Obama to be elected president for life.

  7. PP I say lets give it a shot. No one else seems to have the cajones to take on the tough issue of SHRINKING rather than EXPLODING Govt. Paul Ryan along with G W Bush tried to make a less drastic change on Social security and that weasel Lindsay graham decided to get into a “Comprehensive” version and wrecked everything. I usually cringe when I see hims nose or McCain’s in the mix. It usually means the American people re about to be “compromised”. Let’s actually push every level of govt. back to it’s origins and fundamental responsibilities. Pay off the debt, and lower taxes for the American people. Flatten the tax or even a VAT or Nat Sales Tax would be better. Because then most of the Taxes wouldn’t be paid by a sliver of productive people. Next time the Govt. wants to raise taxes EVERYONE will feel the pain, and be less likely to support the increases.

    If The ROAD MAP is will succeed, even if the Left wins back the House or Senate..the folks will realize in the long run it was better. We don’t always like to have surgery..but it usually ends up saving the patient. The Cancer that is Obama-nomics is KILLING our economy. Even a Keynesian progressive can figure that out.

  8. Dismanteling Social Security and Medicare, the two mist popular govt programs we have, is not a winning strategy. It would be like going in for your tonsils removed and having your legs amputated.

    Until Ryan wants to discuss cutting the defense budget, which is approximately 60% of the budget, then he us just blowing smoke and he knows it.

  9. Defense IS the responsibility of the Federal Govt. Health Care, Social Security, Bicycle paths and Medicare are NOT!

    The fact is Ryan doesn’t plan to “dismantle” those programs but rather to protect and privatize them. While protecting those already invested in the existing program. I am sure you know it’s true and just using the usual lefty talking point’s.
    We both know the current system’s are broke and ignoring the problem is NOT a solution.

    BTW Defense is NOT 60% of spending..entitlements and interest on the debt is much closer to 60%.

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