Speaker Ryan is expected to seek re-election; will he stay?

Published 7:39 am Friday, March 30, 2018

WASHINGTON — Paul Ryan’s future as House speaker has been such a topic of speculation that even the simple question of whether he will seek re-election to his Wisconsin seat remains secret.

Officially, Ryan says he’s still deciding. But a person familiar with Ryan’s thinking told The Associated Press this week the speaker plans to file campaign paperwork and intends to win his seat.

To do so, the Republican would have to fend off primary challengers, including one styled after President Donald Trump, and Democrats are fired up about a union ironworker, Randy Bryce, who goes by the Twitter moniker “Iron Stache.”

Email newsletter signup

If Ryan emerges victorious, even those closest to him aren’t certain he’ll stay in Congress, particularly if Republicans lose their House majority. Asked whether Ryan would serve in the minority, the person who discussed his re-election plans with AP would not say.

The person was not authorized to discuss Ryan’s plans and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ryan’s political spokesman Jeremy Adler said Thursday, “The speaker speaks for himself on this topic, and there is no update to his last public comments.”

Washington has been guessing about Ryan’s next step for months, with reports rising to a minor frenzy as allies seek to dispel any notion of a lame-duck speaker, which would be damaging both to fundraising efforts and to governing.