Today, the Wisconsin Working Families Party announced its endorsement for Randy Bryce, the union ironworker and veteran running an insurgent and inspiring campaign against House Speaker Paul Ryan. The endorsement marks the WFP’s first federal endorsement of the 2018 cycle in the nation, with WFP organizers pledging to make Bryce’s candidacy a top priority, and is a show of momentum for the campaign.
“Congress already has enough millionaires, but it doesn’t have enough iron workers,” said Wisconsin Working Families Party director Marina Dimitrijevic. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to support a working families hero and one of our own, Randy Bryce. We won’t rest until Randy Bryce is in Congress and Wall Street Paul is no longer a danger to the sick, elderly, and working class of Wisconsin and of our nation.”
The Working Families Party pledged to make Bryce’s candidacy a top priority, announcing plans to help raise small dollar contributions and mobilize voters in the district to get involved in the campaign by volunteering to knock on doors.
“The people deserve a voice, workers deserve a voice, families deserve a voice. That’s why I’m a proud member of the Working Families Party in Wisconsin and why I’m throwing my hard hat into the ring to run for Congress,” said Randy Bryce. “These issues aren’t a game to me. I don’t know what I’ll do if my mom loses her healthcare. I’m running to make sure Southeastern Wisconsin gets a fair shake and I’m proud to have the backing of the WFP.”
Bryce has been active in the Working Families Party since it launched in Wisconsin in 2015. Bryce has also participated in WFP-organized protests that have criticized Paul Ryan for refusing to hold a single open town hall meeting in his district yet this year. Working Families Party organizers first asked Bryce to consider running.
The WFP’s enthusiastic endorsement for Bryce is the latest sign of momentum for a campaign that might have looked like a long shot when it was launched less than a month ago, but seems more and more credible by the day. WFP organizers say the feeling of momentum for Bryce is real. In the first 12 days of his candidacy Bryce raised more than $430k and has amassed 120,000 twitter followers so far. The campaign’s launch video tallied more than a million views on Youtube and Facebook.
WFP organizers also note that Ryan’s district is rated as an “R+5” district by the 2017 Cook Political Report, a much narrower Republican advantage than in any of the closely-watched special Congressional elections earlier this year.
Wisconsin WFP launched just two years ago, and has since earned a reputation as an effective and principled political organization that delivers for working families, winning surprising victories — among them a clean sweep on the Racine school board for its endorsed candidates in the fall of 2016.
Nationally, progressive Working Families Party-backed candidates are winning upsets around the nation this year, including Christine Pellegrino, a teacher and former delegate for Bernie Sanders who won a special election to a State Assembly seat on Long Island in a district Trump won by more than twenty points and Larry Krasner, the Democratic nominee for District Attorney in Philadelphia, who upset a crowded field running on a platform of bold criminal justice reform.
“Randy Bryce is someone who knows the challenges that working families are facing right now, because he’s facing them too. Paul Ryan can’t be bothered to hold a single open meeting in his district,” said Clinton Rodgers, a board member of the Wisconsin Working Families Party and a union rep for CWA District 4. “He’s too busy raising money from Wall Street CEOs and millionaires, and working to strip away healthcare from hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. We need Randy Bryce in Congress. He will work hard to defend working families from people like Paul Ryan and fighting for healthcare for all.”
Paul Ryan has come under criticism for his key role in the development and House passage of the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act” more commonly known as Trumpcare, which would result in more than 20 million Americans losing their healthcare coverage, including nearly 400,000 in Wisconsin alone, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress.
“As a resident of Racine, I’ve never seen people this fired up almost eighteen months before an election. Randy Bryce is a hardworking Wisconsinite, a family man, a veteran and a friend. I think working people of every stripe are going to like what they hear from him,” said John Tate II, a Working Families Party member from Racine who is also serving as Bryce’s campaign treasurer. “He’s someone we can count on to stand with us. He will side with Main Street over Wall Street every single time. And that’s what’s getting people ready to fight for Randy — because he’ll fight for us. “
The Wisconsin Working Families Party is a grassroots political organization that believes our political leaders should answer to Wisconsin’s working families, not wealthy donors and political insiders. WFP fights for justice, freedom and a better life for working families — good jobs with decent wages, healthcare for all and high quality public schools. The Working Families Party is electing the next generation of progressive leaders who share that vision to office at every level.