The big primary race this week was Paul Ryan’s run for his seat in Wisconsin, so we devoted a full page to him, but he was not the only one running in a primary this week. We didn’t mention that he will have a doomed Democratic opponent in November. Democrats have so little chance of winning that they nominated a “Ryan” to run against Ryan. “Ryan” Solen defeated Tom Breu 59.1% to 40.1%.


The Wisconsin November race is a foregone conclusion, but Solen did surprise people Tuesday, and the race will be a Bernie Sanders fan against Establishment Republican Ryan. [We always like to pretend that incumbents can lose in gerrymanderland.]

Tuesday’s victory alone could be described as an upset for Solen. As of the July 20 filing deadline, his opponent, Breu, had raised nearly six times as much in campaign funds, according to the Federal Election Commission. Solen raised $4,000, while Breu amassed just shy of $23,000. . .

He has told The Gazette before that he supported Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president and is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Solen, 39, is an information security analyst at SC Johnson & Sons in Racine. He served eight years in the military as a medical service corps officer before leaving in 2012.” Then, there’s Breu. . .

Tom Breu (rhymes with “guy”) has spent the past 20 years working as a plumbing engineer. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in 37 states and holds a number of other professional credentials, including CPD, LEED AP, and EDAC. (Much like Republican Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, Tom is not a licensed plumber.)

Any Democrat who compares himself to “Joe the Plumber” is likely to lose big in a Dem primary. . .

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, incumbent Democratic Representative Ron Kind won with 81% of the vote in the Third District. In the Fourth, incumbent Republican Gwen Moore won with 85%. In the Sixth, Sarah Lloyd won 75% in the Dem primary. In the Seventh, Mary Hoeft won 81% of the Dem primary vote, while incumbent Republican Rep. Sean Duffy took 89%. And, finally, Mike Gallagher won with 74% in a three-person Eighth District GOP race.

In Connecticut, Rep. Rosa DeLauro was unopposed, as was her Republican opponent, Angel Cadena.

In Minnesota, Jim Hagedorn only got 76.5% in the First District GOP primary.

First District DFL Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Jim Hagedorn will face off once again in November.

Hagedorn easily fended off a primary challenge from Brownsdale farmer Steve Williams. Hagedorn won nearly 76 percent of the vote compared to Williams’ nearly 24 percent. Williams had previously run as an Independence Party U.S. Senate candidate.

This is Hagedorn’s third run for Congress. In 2014, Walz beat Hagedorn by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent. In 2010, Hagedorn dropped out of the race after failing to get the Republican endorsement. In a written statement, Hagedorn said he would seek to challenge the status quo if elected in November.

“I will fight to take power from the national politicians, bureaucrats and interest groups and send authority back to the states and the American people,” Hagedorn said.

Hagedorn’s opponent was not fighting very hard.

“My philosophy is if I give it 110 percent, I’m not going to live very long,” Williams said with a laugh. . .

The non-traditional nature of Williams’ campaign is evident on his campaign website. It contains the standard “about me,” “contact,” and “issues” sections.

When viewers click on “photos,” however, there isn’t a single picture of the candidate or campaign events. Instead, the photos are exclusively of flora and fauna on his farm, including a family of barred owls, various songbirds, a mix of wildflowers and even a salamander. . .

One other difference between Hagedorn and Williams: Hagedorn has been strongly supportive of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while Williams said he’d prefer that both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton lose.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, Jason Lewis got 48.87% in a four-person race in the Second District. Greg Ryan got 81.5% in a three-person race in the Fourth District. Also in the Fourth, incumbent Rep. Betty McCollum got 94% of the DFL vote. In the Fifth, incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison got 91.7% in a three-person race. Also in the Fifth, incumbent Tom Emmer received 68.7% of the vote in a three-person race. In the Sixth, David Snyder won with 46% in a three-person DFL race. And Dave Hughes received 59% of the GOP vote in the Seventh.

But they’re not as much fun as the Democrat who compares himself to “Joe the Plumber,” who brags about not being licensed, or the Republican who says if you work too hard, you won’t live long. Good stuff.

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