Ryan selection resets presidential race

August 11, 2012 (JANESVILLE, Wisc.)

The decision's been made.

Congressman Ryan is Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's choice as a running mate and many in the lawmaker's hometown of Janesville in the battleground state of Wisconsin are thrilled about it.

"I guess it's cool just someone from Wisconsin is up for the election now," said Janesville resident Thomas Bryant.

"It is more exciting to have something like that going on where we live," said fellow Janesville resident Jaimee Edler.

First elected to congress at the age of 28, some see the seven-term representative as a game-changer. As a fiscal conservative, he's popular with the GOP base and more conservative party members skeptical of Romney.

"Paul Ryan is a guy who reaches out to those who agree with him and those who do not agree with him to try to come up with solutions that are going to work with everybody," said Jason Mielke, Republican Party of Rock County Chairman.

Paul Ryan is 42 years old and was born and raised in the southern Wisconsin city of roughly 63,000.

He is Catholic and an accomplished hunter known for his fitness regimen.

The married father of three is respected for his easy going demeanor.

"I think he's a fair man," said family friend Rick Riley. "As a person he's a very kind man just kind of a normal person someone you could sit down and have a beer with him."

Ryan is the chairman of the house budget committee and is the chief architect of the Republican Party's plan for tax and spending cuts.

Democrats say that makes him a liability.

"Paul Ryan is kind if the poster child for the tea party movement, small government but don't touch my Medicare/Medicaid or social security type movements," Sam Liebert, a Janesville City Council Democrat.

And while supporters say they'd hate to lose Ryan as their congressman, others say he's the one who can help re-energize the party all the way back to the white house.

"We're happy for him and his family and the Romney campaign for having him," Janesville resident Connie Welsh said.

On Sunday, the Romney-Ryan ticket is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Waukesha, Wisc.

The suburb of outside Milwaukee is in one of the most Republican counties in the area.

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