Who is GOP candidate Patrick John Ryan?

September 30, 2010 (CHICAGO) So mighty is the speaker of the Illinois House that his bids for re-election fail to attract formidable challenge. This time around, Representative Michael Madigan faces Patrick John Ryan, a 30-year-old City of Chicago Streets and San laborer from the 13th Ward. Who is Ryan?

"Patrick John Ryan. A fine lad. Never met him. Never seen him. Never heard from him and until the primary, he never voted Republican," said Pat Brady, Illinois GOP chairman.

The head of the state's Republican Party has tried to meet Ryan, who has not responded to calls. Ryan was not at home when ABC7 knocked on the door of his parent's Southwest Side home Thursday afternoon.

"He's a great guy, great neighbor. [He] takes care of the neighborhood. Does a lot of positive things around here," said Carl Heard, a neighbor. Has he heard about Ryan's candidacy? "No, I didn't."

"I know he's the son of our neighbor but I don't know a lot about his son," said Melbourne Lenz, neighbor. "We know the neighbor very well, but not the son." Lenz also was not aware Ryan was running for the Illinois House of Representatives.

It is a stealth campaign even though Ryan's nominating petitions contain well more than enough signatures. Melinda Goggin signed them three times.

"I don't know him personally. I mean, I think he lives down the street, if that's the same guy I'm thinking about," said Goggin. "That's all I can say."

Ryan has yet to report forming a political party and it doesn't appear that he's raised much money. However, on Thursday the Republican Party gave their candidate $3,000 at a meet-and-greet fundraiser for Ryan. Giving Ryan the money means he's compelled to report it to the State Board of Elections. The GOP invited Ryan to his meet-and-greet, but they weren't sure he'd show. He didn't.

"I like to joke about this, but there's a serious undertone to this. This is someone who's not a Republican. Shame on us for not putting someone up. This guy is not a Republican. We understand there may be some politics here and we want shake it out," said Brady.

Mock groans greeted Brady later Thursday evening at the event, when he said, "Patrick didn't make it tonight."

"I'm shocked," he added.

Brady insists that two years from now, the republicans will field a strong candidate in Madigan's 22nd legislative district.

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