How did Randy Bryce’s fairy-tale bid for Congress flop? Let us count the ways.
What happens when Cinderella stubs her toe on the way to the party while being chased by a vindictive brother and lugging along an arrest record noxious enough to poison a magic pumpkin?
You get something like the story of Randy Bryce, the mustachioed ironworker who launched a multi million-dollar campaign with a rousing YouTube video but limped from one scandal to the next during his run to replace Rep. Paul Ryan in Congress. Bryce lost to ultra-vanilla, corporate lawyer guy Bryan Steil in November, Ryan’s chosen successor, a man with little political record but no glaring warts, either.
People interested in running for political office should never equate police officers with terrorists, at least not in a public setting. The resurfacing of Bryce’s 2012 tweet doing so was a foot-in-mouth moment and led to a bitter attack ad starring his police officer brother, and a cry from their mom to stop fighting.
Politicians should kiss babies, not withhold money from them. Shortly after starting his campaign, Bryce opened his wallet to clear $1,257 in back child support, and shadowy forces paid $4,246 due to an ex-girlfriend, money he’d borrowed years ago to buy a used car.
Hey, we all make mistakes. Bryce’s problem is making several, for a total of nine arrests, including old charges of marijuana possession and drunken driving. “The legal thing was like a millstone around his neck,” says one Democratic insider.
Failed race for school board? Check. Failed race for the Legislature? Check. Worn out shoes from hitting the doors? Check.
A word about the winner
BRYAN STEIL CAN seem like someone Paul Ryan cultivated in a test tube to replace him when the time came. He hails from another Janesville Republican family and served as a staffer under the longtime congressman. While health care was a central issue in the race against Randy Bryce, Steil opposed Medicare-for-all lock, stock and barrel.
ABOUT THAT COVER…
It seemed like a good idea at the time (November 2017), though technically we still don’t know the answer…