Claiming he's accomplished a "heckuva lot", U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election and will retire next year, injecting another layer of uncertainty as Republicans face worries over losing their majority in the fall. Along with Reps. Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, he branded himself a rising "young gun" in an aging party and a new breed of hard-charging Republicans ready to shrink the size of government. "His ability to bridge the vast divide". The two have not had a close working relationship. There is one woman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in House Republican leadership.
A likely much narrower majority or an increasingly likely defeat at the polls will nearly certainly mean that the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus will gain additional power among a downsized Republican House.
Priebus, Ryan and Walker formed a Wisconsin-centered political powerhouse that included a Walker run for president, Ryan's ascendancy as speaker and Priebus' rise to work in the White House.
That's why exiting now, for Ryan, "could make ideal sense both politically and personally given the chaos and likely loss of the House and that he does not want to be the Nancy Pelosi of the Republicans", said Galen, referring to the Democratic lawmaker from California and former House speaker who did not vacate her seat prior to Republicans winning the majority in 2011, and has continued on since as minority leader.
As the House GOP's top fundraiser, Ryan's sudden lame duck status could send shockwaves through donor circles that are relying on his leadership at the helm of the House majority.
Priebus was a mainstay in Wisconsin politics for years, running unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2004 and ascending to be state Republican Party chairman in 2007. "It's just another issue that's floating out there, and obviously there's going to be some competition for his successor".
For Vanessa Williamson, a co-author of "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism" and fellow at the Brookings Institution, Ryan's exit is a harbinger of tough times ahead for the GOP - even beyond the upcoming elections.
"You have to assume that his colleagues, the ones that are not jockeying for his position, are pretty demoralized because they understand that if he quits it means that those guys who are in marginal districts don't have a lot of chance", said Galen.
Another potential candidate, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, said he meant to decide by Friday. Vos did not immediately return telephone or text messages. David Craig, a former Ryan aide; and longtime Ryan friend Bryan Steil, an attorney and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents member.
"Ryan considered democracy an inconvenience". Bryce raised $2.1 million in the first three months of the year and Myers raised $500,000.
The only declared Republicans so far are Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for a series of posts criticized as racist or anti-Semitic, and Nick Polce, an Army veteran who also co-owns a security consulting firm.
But for Carlson, Ryan leaves behind a trail of failures. Others have suggested that an ideal job for the policy wonk could be running a think tank, noting the leader of the conservative American Enterprise Institute recently announced he would be stepping down.