Ryan says he will return to Congress
Janesville residents react to election outcome
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Paul Ryan said he is returning to Congress.
The failed Republican vice-presidential nominee said Wednesday that he will be seated when the new House convenes in January.
But first, he said he’s looking forward to spending some time with his family before resuming his responsibilities as House Budget Committee chairman.
Ryan was re-elected to his House seat from Wisconsin the same night that he and Mitt Romney came up short in their bid to unseat President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Advisers had been weighing whether Ryan would be best served by returning to Congress for an eighth term if he were planning to run for president in 2016.
In Janesville, even those who didn’t support Ryan and his running mate Romney, said it was exciting to see the Janesville native in the national spotlight. The phone lines lit up Wednesday morning at WCLO Radio in Janesville.
Dozens of area residents called to vent and celebrate the outcome of the presidential election.
Despite support in his district, talk show host Tim Bremel said most callers weren’t surprised Ryan wasn’t able to carry Wisconsin for Romney.
“I just don’t think people voted for vice president. They were still voting for president and they knew it. That came down to a choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and I think had very little to do with Paul Ryan,” Bremel said.
Job creation remains a hot topic for residents in the area.
“The best thing you can do to help the middle class is to provide a business climate where people can hire people,” said one caller.
“Our jobs are being shipped out of this country so these people can get richer and richer so they can pay people dirt wages and work under any conditions” said another caller.
Outside Ryan’s office on Main Street, residents’ reaction to the loss is mixed.
“Definitely Obama all the way. I’m really glad he made it through. I look forward to the next four years,” said Janesville resident Holly Punzel.
“I’ve always been a big Paul Ryan supporter,” said Janesville resident Colene Black. “At my dad’s house, every time he’d come on the TV we’d all gather around. I think he’ll do great as our congressman, like he always has.”
Ryan keeping his seat in Congress is the silver lining for some. For others, it’s the feeling the community will begin going back to normal after the election.
“We like the fact that he’s from Janesville, obviously. It was nice feeling to be in the national spotlight, but a lot of us are ready to be out of that national spotlight,” Bremel said.