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Republican Bryan Steil beats Democrat Randy Bryce to win Paul Ryan's Wisconsin congressional seat

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican attorney Bryan Steil has won outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan's Wisconsin congressional seat.

Steil is a Ryan protégé. He defeated Democratic ironworker Randy Bryce on Tuesday to earn the right to represent southeastern Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District for the next two years. His victory denies bragging rights for Wisconsin Democrats, who had targeted the seat after Ryan announced in April that he wouldn't seek re-election.

Bryce nicknamed himself "Iron Stache," a play on his vocation and his thick mustache. He generated $6 million in contributions.

Steil worked for Ryan for a year in Washington. Ryan endorsed him. A super PAC aligned with Ryan launched ads trumpeting Bryce's nine arrests and branding Bryce a deadbeat for failing to pay child support.

 Paul Ryan issued the following statement after Steil was declared the winner in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District:

"Bryan Steil went to every corner of the First District during this campaign and he earned this impressive victory tonight. In Congress, I know Bryan will work tirelessly to represent Southern Wisconsin in a principled way and will always focus his energy on helping people and solving problems. He is going to hit the ground running, and I know he will serve his constituents well.

"This race was very important to me. It’s the district that my family and I call home and it’s the district that I have had the honor of representing in Congress for twenty years. While Bryan will chart his own course in Washington, I’m glad that voters have given him the chance to fight for the values we share. I’m proud of him and thrilled that this district will have such strong representation for years to come."

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