Ryan could get key committee role
Paul Ryan (I) 176,109
John Heckenlively 78,140
Joseph Kexel 4,230
Rep. Paul Ryan's stock in the Republican Party will rise even higher in the new, GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
First District voters on Tuesday sent the Janesville native to his seventh term in the House of Representatives.
Ryan handily defeated John Heckenlively of Racine, a Democratic activist who decided to get into the race days before the filing deadline.
Ryan is unopposed to be House Budget Committee chairman, whose job it is to write the federal budget.
That puts Ryan in a position to put into practice the principles he has advocated for years.
"I want to turn this fiscal course around," Ryan said. "Tonight is a validation of the Republicans. It's a repudiation of the president and the direction the president and his party have taken the country."
Ryan and his colleagues see federal spending spiraling out of control and on the road to a debt crisis with no way to avoid austerity measures, if something is not done soon.
Ryan has faulted his own party for being part of the problem, but he said the incoming Republicans are ready to take on the challenge of fixing the budget.
"These are fiscal conservatives. These are people not looking to start a political career but to advance a cause, and that's the kind of people you want to see in Congress," Ryan said.
Ryan has called for a halt to stimulus spending, a federal hiring freeze and freezing spending to 2008 levels, among other measures.
Ryan's campaign war chest boasted seven figures, while Heckenlively raised less than $9,000, according to the most recent reports.
Heckenlively said Ryan called him around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and thanked him for giving voters a choice.
The conversation was cordial, and Heckenlively said he wished Ryan well as he takes over the budget committee.
Heckenlively said he hoped Ryan would make his top priority fixing the economy and bringing jobs to Wisconsin.
Heckenlively said he would not rule out running again.