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Paul Ryan House Race Can Proceed Despite VP Nomination

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is legally able to run for both vice president and reelection in his House district. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is legally able to run for both vice president and reelection in his House district. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is now running for vice president, after presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney announced him as his pick on Saturday morning. But Ryan is technically also still running for reelection in Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. And according to Wisconsin law, he is allowed to do both.

Reid Magney, spokesman for Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, told The Huffington Post that Wisconsin has a "favorite son" law that allows Ryan to run for both vice president and reelection in the House.

Wisconsin State Statute 8.03.2 allows a candidate for president or vice president to keep his or her name on the ballot for another elective office in the state.

If Ryan and Romney were to win in November, the state would have a special election to fill Ryan's House seat.

A Ryan spokesman did not return a request for comment on what the congressman is planning to do.

Ryan's Democratic opponent in the 1st congressional district, Rob Zerban, is still considered a long shot to win the seat. Ryan won reelection easily in 2010, when Tea Party candidates nationwide swept the House races.

But Zerban is hoping the latest announcement will give him a boost.

“Now that Paul Ryan's personal ambition has clearly trumped his interest in the First District, I have no doubt he'll find himself out of a job come November," said Zerban in a statement Saturday morning. "Once Wisconsinites and voters across our country learn the truth about Ryan's radical plot to end Medicare as we know it, de-fund women's health care, and preserve tax breaks for millionaires, they'll vote against him not just once, but twice."

Taking Ryan's name off the ballot and fielding a different Republican candidate is a gamble for the state party, since few Republicans would have the congressman's popularity and name recognition.

One GOP operative recently acknowledged to BuzzFeed, "It would be really tough to get a candidate together."

Reactions to the announcement of Ryan as Romney's VP:

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