House Speaker Paul Ryan has defeated a longshot Republican primary challenger who had been praised by Donald Trump
JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected the idea that his easy win Tuesday over a longshot Republican primary challenger praised by Donald Trump spells danger for Trump's presidential prospects in the swing state of Wisconsin.
All the huge primary win means, Ryan insisted, is that he’s really well-liked in the congressional district where he was born and raised and that he has represented since 1998.
Businessman Paul Nehlen had been courting Trump supporters and won praise from the Republican presidential nominee last week. But despite their strained relationship, Trump endorsed Ryan days later.
“I don’t think it means he’s doomed in November,” Ryan said of Trump. “I think it means right here in Wisconsin, people know me very, very well.”
Ryan had largely ignored Nehlen in what had been a sleepy primary before Trump thanked Nehlen on Twitter for his comments defending Trump. Nehlen won the backing of some prominent conservative figures, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Ryan’s popularity in his southeastern Wisconsin district.
Ryan won by about 70 percentage points, based on unofficial results.
“We knew we were going to do well,” Ryan said. “We got the votes we were hoping and expecting to get all along. The outcome is exactly what we were hoping for.”