Bryan Steil, a businessman and member of the UW System Board of Regents, officially entered the race for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District with an announcement in Janesville on Sunday.

Steil told the audience that two-and-a-half years ago House Speaker Paul Ryan made everyone proud by taking up the Speaker’s gavel. “At the end of this year, he’s going to hand the gavel to someone new,” Steil said. “We cannot let Nancy Pelosi take it back.”

After explaining how he voted against a UW System budget that would have raised student fees, Steil explained that the problem is Washington.

“Washington needs problem solvers who aren’t afraid to take on the tough issues,” Steil said. “And I’m ready to fight with everything I have. So today I offer you my talents, my experience, and my service. And I, Bryan Steil, declare my candidacy for Congress.”

Steil becomes the first credible Republican candidate in the race after many others passed on running. Steil’s possible candidacy was first reported in RightWisconsin the day Ryan announced he was not seeking re-election. In addition to serving on the UW System Board of Regents, he is the general counsel and secretary at Charter NEX Films Inc. and the 1st Vice Chairman of the Rock County Republican Party. Steil is also a former aide to Ryan.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Randy Bryce has raised the most money and attention. He is currently being challenged by Cathy Myers, a school teacher. Former Congressman and current state Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) is considering a run.

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