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Janesville, WI – Last Thursday, Vice News Tonight on HBO profiled the Democratic Primary in Wisconsin’s 1st District following Paul Ryan’s retirement announcement. The segment contrasted Randy Bryce’s campaign, which is guided by national establishment groups and celebrities, with Cathy Myers’ grassroots campaign powered by local activists.
Vice News followed up on its HBO segment with a new report entitled, “Democrats Bet Big on ‘Iron Stache.’ They May Have Made a Mistake.” The article, authored by Alex Thompson, is available here.
The report questions the fawning national support Bryce has received despite his history, which includes three electoral failures, a two-year child support delinquency, and numerous fake endorsements.
Bryce has lost three elections in Wisconsin’s 1st District with less than 40% of the vote and has never won a primary. He lost a 2012 State Assembly Primary to Democrat Melissa Lemke, 70% – 30%. The following year, he placed 7th out of 10 in the 2013 Racine School Board Primary and did not advance to the general election. Most recently, Bryce lost the 2014 State Senate race to Republican Van Wanggaard, 62%-38%, a seat gerrymandered to favor Republicans by 16%.
Bryce began his campaign with a nearly two-year child support delinquency that was not paid until months after he announced his campaign for Congress following an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Bryce claimed he was unable to pay due to financial struggles, but Vice News reported that he spent over $5,000 on his state senate campaign and purchased fake Twitter followers during the same time period.
Randy Bryce also claimed to have earned the endorsement of multiple Congressional leaders, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Barbara Lee, Representative Joe Kennedy III, Representative Adam Schiff, and Representative Mark Takano. However, all of those candidates denied endorsing Bryce and their names have been scrubbed from his website after Vice News questioned the endorsements.
Cathy Myers is a single mother of two and 24-year veteran high school teacher who is currently serving her second term on the Janesville School Board. She has raised nearly $1 million from over 30,000 grassroots donors since announcing her campaign.