A representative of House Speaker Paul Ryan last week dismissed rumors he will soon resign from office and turn over his gavel to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.
“The speaker is not resigning,” Ryan spokesman Doug Andres flatly told reporters.
But Ryan has yet to say whether he will seek re-election and will only say that he and wife Janna will make a decision about running again sometime in late spring.
Back in Wisconsin, sentiments are growing among Republicans who spoke to Newsmax that the 10-term lawmaker and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee will announce his retirement weeks before the filing deadline June 1.
“It would be very late limiting who would be able to get into the race,” said one prominent Republican in Wisconsin’s 1st District (Racine-Janesville). “There are two prominent possibilities in the district that I would assume do not want a primary. Either would be ready to step in with complete district knowledge of who they are."
The two possibilities are obviously state House Speaker Robin Vos and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Most Badger State observers, while liking Priebus very much, doubt he would return from Washington to run in the district in which he grew up and lived before becoming Republican National Chairman in 2011.
Vos is considered a conservative and close to Ryan. Long considered the heir apparent to Ryan, Vos is, as a reporter put it, “Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI] to Ryan’s John Paul II.”
Ryan’s decision may be affected by two special elections to be held in May---one for the state Assembly and one for the state senate. Republican Gov. Scott Walker tried to stop both from being held but is now facing the prospect of Democrats sweeping both.
"Certainly Paul has seen his fair share of service and no one could fault him if he decided to ride into the sunset,” Thiensville President Van Mobley, an early Trump supporter in Wisconsin, told Newsmax. “In fact, we would all be happy for Paul and his family. But the Republicans will face a tremendous battle in Wisconsin this fall to hold our congressional seats. We can accomplish these objectives with Paul Ryan running again or without him running again but further ambiguity about whether he is in or out at this stage is unhelpful. He needs to talk to his wife, make a decision, and provide clarity."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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