AP: Bryan Steil wins re-election in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District
Updated: 10:56 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020
Republican incumbent U.S. Representative Bryan Steil has won Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District race, according to the Associated Press.
Congressman Steil will keep his strong law and order stance for the next two years.
He told supporters that keeping their communities safe is one of his top priorities.
After the race as called, Steil addressed a few dozen supporters outside Route 20 in Sturtevant.
He told them it is his "honor" to be their voice in Washington.
A Janesville native, Steil was first elected to the US House in 2018, the seat where former House Speaker Paul Ryan served for 20 years before announcing he would retire from Congress.
As he heads into his second term, Steil says he will help defeat COVID-19, get Wisconsin workers back to work and support law enforcement.
Congressman Steil says he has spoken with his opponent, Roger Polack, and says he appreciated Polack's willingness to run.
Though disappointed, Roger Polack is looking toward the future, although he says he's taking time to decide what that future will look like.
Polack felt that Republicans have been beholden to corporations, and had not moved this district forward.
The 37-year-old husband and father said he was ready to support working-class families.
He supported Joe Biden's health care plan, with a public option.
He also backed veterans and opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Despite the 1st District being traditionally red, he was counting on those crossover votes to carry him to victory.
"I feel proud of the campaign that we can," Polack said. "We focused on the issues, and I think held Bryan Steil to task and made him answer for a number of his positions, and prosecuted our case as strongly as we possibly could."
Polack also ran a completely digital campaign focusing on online engagement and virtual town halls.
Published: 5:01 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The battle continues for who will lead Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District. It stretches from Racine and Kenosha, all the way to the Janesville area. Republican Congressman Bryan Steil is vying for another two-year term. Challenger Roger Polack is hoping a "blue wave" will help him flip the seat.
Congressman Steil and his supporters will gather Tuesday night at Route 20 in Sturtevant, as they await election results.
Born and raised in Janesville, Steil was first elected to the U.S. House in 2018. He represents the 1st Congressional District, the seat previously held by former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan -- until Ryan retired from Congress.
Steil was appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker to the UW Board of Regents in 2016.
Steil has aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump this campaign cycle.
He's campaigned alongside Pres. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence when they've stopped in Wisconsin.
Like President Trump, Steil has taken a hard stance on law and order, especially in the wake of the unrest in Kenosha.
He also names the economy and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as issues he hopes to tackle if re-elected.
"We're ultimately going to defeat this virus, we need to continue to work until we do, but then it's a question of how do we get Wisconsin back to work. How do we bring jobs back into southeastern Wisconsin," said Steil.
CBS 58 asked Steil if he's concerned about the record numbers of absentee ballots. He said it may take longer to count the ballots but he says he's confident in Wisconsin's elections system.
A Democrat has not held the congressional seat in more than 20 years. Polack wants voters to know that he’s who will not put corporate interests before them.
Polack is a proud product of southeast Wisconsin. He's a Horlick High School graduate, and the youngest of four siblings. The 37-year-old also has a family of his own: wife Amanda, his 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.
Polack is running on a platform he believes voters will support -- that includes jobs, education, national security, and the environment. He believes in climate change and clean energy. He wants to improve the area's infrastructure, making roads and bridges safer. But he tells CBS 58 health care is one of the biggest things that set him apart from his Republican challenger.
"On a policy level, I’m going to be making sure that we have healthcare coverage for every American. I believe that is a human right, that in 2020 everyone in this country should have quality affordable health insurance. I believe we do that through the plans sent out by Joe Biden with a public option," said Polack.
After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Polack served as a civilian intelligence officer in Afghanistan, focusing on stopping the funding of terrorist organizations around the world.
By working with both U.S. and foreign leaders and military, he says voters should know he can accomplish any mission before him.