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Two Democrats will face off in a primary this summer to determine which one will face Congressman Paul Ryan.

Tom Breu

Tom Breu, from Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, and Ryan Solen, 38, a war vet from Mount Pleasant, have both registered for the 2016 1st Congressional District race. After the August primary, one of them will go up against Ryan in November.

Ryan, R-Janesville, is the Speaker of the House and has been representing the 1st District since 1998. He has never faced an opponent where he received less than 55 percent of the vote, a story in The Journal Times reads.

Solen told the newspaper he’s running because he thinks Ryan has become too much about party politics instead of working to make life better for his constituents.

Ryan Solen

“The reason I’m running against him is because I don’t agree with his policies, the way he’s been doing things. To me, it strikes me as a whole lot more of party politics than it does for actually seeking solutions,” he is quoted as saying.

Solen served in Iraq in 2008 and was discharged in 2012. He has never held political office but serves as the secretary/treasurer of the Wisconsin Democratic Party Veteran’s Caucus. In his statement announcing his candidacy, Solen stressed his willingness to look beyond party lines.

“I intend to do everything I can to push for common sense legislation that works for everyone, regardless of political affiliation,” he wrote.

Ryan is a household name with millions in the bank, and Solen recognizes he faces a steep uphill battle. Still, he told the newspaper he’s ready to go door-to-door meeting residents and talking with them about the solutions they’d like to see.

“We do have some serious issues,” the story reads. “And if we don’t start working together to get these things done, we’re going to have a lot more problems in the future.”

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