Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce for Congress/Youtube

Randy Bryce wins Democratic primary, will run to take Paul Ryan’s seat in Congress

A lot happened on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Aug 15, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 8:45 am CDT

Randy Bryce, an ironworker who launched his campaign with a viral commercial, will face off against Bryan Steil later this year to see who will take over House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) seat in Congress.

Bryce’s victory was just one of several results as Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont joined Wisconsin in hosting primary elections on Tuesday night.

Here’s what you need to know about last night’s elections:


  • With Ryan announcing his retirement earlier this year, the race to see who will replace him has been watched closely.
  • Bryce jump-started his campaign last year by releasing an emotional ad where he told Ryan to “trade places” with him as an ironworker. He was also arrested in March while attending a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Bryce defeated his Democratic challenger Cathy Myers by garnering 59.6 percent of the vote compared to her 40.4 percent, according to the New York Times.
  • Meanwhile, Steil—a former staffer for Ryan—defeated several other candidates, including Paul Nehlen, who has been criticized as being a white nationalist.
  • Gov. Scott Walker (R) handily won his primary and will square off with Democrat Tony Evers in the gubernatorial election in November. Incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) ran uncontested.


  • Former governor Tim Pawlenty lost his bid to return to run the state when he was defeated by Jeff Johnson. Johnson will face off against Tim Waltz, who won the Democratic primary with nearly 42 percent of the vote.
  • Incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) also won her primary, getting nearly 555,000 votes. On the Republican side, Jim Newberger won, netting just over 200,000 votes.
  • Tina Smith, who replaced former Sen. Al Franken, also won the Senate special election in the state.
  • Ilhan Omar won the Democratic primary in the state’s 5th District. If elected she would join Rashida Tlaib, who won a primary in Michigan last week, as the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D) also won his primary battle, however he was recently accused of abusing an ex-girlfriend. Ellison denies the claims.


  • Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman and first-time candidate, won the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday night.
  • Hallquist is the first openly transgender nominee for governor, CNN reports. Hallquist was supported by the same group that backed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s campaign in New York, according to the news outlet.
  • Unsurprisingly, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won his primary fight by enormous margins, getting 94.4 percent of the vote, according to the Times.


  • Jahana Hayes won her primary in the state’s 5th District.
  • If Hayes wins, she would be Connecticut’s first Black Democratic representative for the state in Congress, according to CNN.


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*First Published: Aug 15, 2018, 8:19 am CDT