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Paul Ryan Senate Campaign Not Happening In 2012

Paul Ryan

First Posted: 05/17/11 10:07 AM ET Updated: 07/17/11 06:12 AM ET

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will not run for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Sen. Herb Kohl in the next election cycle, National Journal reports.

According to the AP:

Ryan said in a statement on his website Tuesday that he feels he can have a bigger impact by remaining in his current position rather than running for the Senate next year.

The Republican congressman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview, "What matters to me is not the title. It's my ability to impact policy. It would take me, you know, 12 to 16 years in the Senate to get where I am in the House. I don't want to be in Congress for the rest of my life." He added, "I don't want to take myself out of this fight, and leave the fight and a leadership role I have at the moment America is going to make up its mind about what kind of country it's going to become."

Last week, Kohl announced that he would not seek another term in the upper congressional chamber. Just days after the Wisconsin Democrat revealed his plans to retire in 2012, speculation began to swirl that Ryan could mount a campaign for the Badger State Senate seat.

Ryan signaled last Sunday that he could be expected to announce whether he would pursue a Senate campaign this week. "I plan on making an announcement very quickly," he said at the time during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union."

Meanwhile, Politico reports that former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, a Republican, is prepared to run for Kohl's seat in 2012.

The AP recently reported:

Kohl's surprise decision to retire will keep the political spotlight shining brightly on Wisconsin as Republicans eye a golden opportunity to pick up a Senate seat that has been under Democratic control for more than two decades.

The seat will also be one of at least eight open spots helping determine the balance of power in the Senate, where Republicans need to pick up just four seats to take control.

Republicans scored a major victory during the 2010 midterm election season with the defeat of former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. HuffPost's Sam Stein reported last week:

Soon after Kohl's announcement, the progressive advocacy group Democracy for America launched a petition campaign urging Feingold to run for office. But, at the same time, national Democrats were subtly pushing the idea that other candidates would stand a better chance at winning. One party official floated the names of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Reps. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Kind as alternatives. An adviser to Baldwin, who could potentially draw some progressive support away from Feingold, quickly suggested she would run. Another top operative, asked about the field, emailed with the simple prediction: “I think new blood wins [this race].”
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Filed by Elyse Siegel  |