Who cares about Jon Ossoff? We got a guy who can beat Paul Ryan

Sure, I’m disappointed that Jon Ossoff didn’t pull off a massive upset in the Georgia special election last night.

But less disappointing than the outcome is the fact that Democrats couldn’t find a better candidate than a resume-padding twerp who doesn’t even live in the district he’s campaigning to represent.

Happily, that doesn’t appear to be the problem in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District. Randy “Iron stache” Bryce just may be the guy who can force Paul Ryan out of Congress and into a seven-figure position at a Koch-funded think-tank.

Great accent. Even better message.

I don’t think I ever met Randy Bryce face-to-face, but he was a regular in the Wisconsin political social media sphere back when I was reporting on the affairs of America’s Dairyland. If I recall correctly, he went by “Randy Ironworkers Bryce” or something to that effect on Facebook. I also recall a disgruntled progressive activist saying that Bryce had been dismissed by a Democratic Party staffer as “labor, not Democrat” at some function.

A few reasons I like Bryce:

  1. He’s a union member who puts labor front-and-center. “I’m alive because of my union,” he once said in testimony opposing Wisconsin’s sham “right-to-work” law. If you’ve read me before, you know that I believe that a reinvigorated labor movement is key to reforming our economy and politics.
  2. He’s a working stiff. Who better to run against Ryan than the type of person he’s spent his career trying to screw over?
  3. He doesn’t rely on slogans and talking points. Would you believe it? He’s actually knowledgable about the issues and sounds like he believes what he’s saying.
  4. He’s running in a Republican district, but not as Republican-lite. A former Bernie supporter, Bryce is likely to run an unabashedly populist campaign focusing on economic equality. Similarly, he’s not running away from Obamacare. The word is uttered in the first two seconds of his first ad. Until we have Medicare-for-All, Obamacare is the best we got. You better defend it.

Essentially, Bryce is a great candidate because he’s the polar opposite of Jon Ossoff.

It will still be an uphill battle. Although his district wasn’t the top priority of the Republican gerrymander in 2011, he still came away with a significantly redder district. For a bit of context, the GA-6 district that Ossoff just lost is rated R+8, while Ryan’s is R+5.

But I believe Randy can do it. And if he can’t do it, he’ll hopefully at least wake some of his union brethren up to the fact that the “Path to Prosperity” and “Make America Great Again” do the exact same thing for working people: Nothing.

Tell ’em Iron Stache!