Speaker of the House Paul Ryan won his primary this evening, according to the Associated Press, finishing off his feisty challenger Paul Nehlen who repeatedly accused the fifth-generation Wisconsin native for not having a soul and having a personality grown in a petrie dish.
The Associated Press called the race at around 8:30 p.m. — just half an hour after the polls closed.
With 28.4 percent reporting, Ryan was leading 85 percent to Nehlen’s 15 percent.
Nehlen was expected to lose the race against Ryan but experienced a surge of interest after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump praised the long-shot candidate. The final point margin between the two candidates remains unclear.
Nehlen’s campaign gathered interest around the nation for his anti-globalist, anti-establishment message, similar to that of Donald Trump.
Trump, however, endorsed Ryan last Friday to signal party unity.
Ryan celebrated his victory in a statement to reporters:
I am humbled and honored that Wisconsinites in the 1st Congressional District support my efforts to keep fighting on their behalf. Janna and I are grateful to have the support of so many in southern Wisconsin, and we are truly thankful for all of their hard work.
Ryan held a press conference instead of a victory rally to satisfy the dozens of national political reporters who traveled to Wisconsin to report the results.
Campaign volunteers reportedly received beer and cheese curds for their efforts.
Ryan isn't holding a rally. Instead, he bought volunteers cheese curds and beer. He'll hold a news conference after the race is called.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) August 10, 2016