Several African-American leaders from Wisconsin could be stellar replacements for House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, who has promoted policies that oftn conflict with the interest of Black folks.
Ryan, 48, announced on Wednesday that he’s not running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, ending a 20-year career. He will continue in his role as House Speaker until this session of Congress ends in January.
The Speaker, who was Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate in 2012, wants to spend more time with his family, he stated. However, his decision not to run signals a tough political road ahead for Republicans trying to keep control of the House, according to The New York Times.
He was quite unpopular among many in the Black community over his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care reform agenda and anti-poverty programs. In 2016, Ryan admitted that he was “callous” and “oversimplified and castigated [low-income] people with a broad brush.” However, two years later, Ryan was promoting budget cuts to the social safety net.
June 1 is Wisconsin’s deadline for congressional candidates to file. There are other requirements, such as residency, that potential candidates must meet to compete for Ryan’s 1st district seat, which includes parts of Milwaukee County.
Here, a number of potential candidates:
Adams is a civil rights activist and co-executive director of Freedom Inc., which focuses on helping low-income communities of color. She was named One Of Wisconsin’s Most Influential African-Americans.
Norman D. Davis
Davis is Madison’s Department of Civil Rights director, responsible for promoting civil rights and equity within government and the community. He has more than 17 years of experience in civil rights and affirmative action.
Alderman Ashanti Hamilton
Hamilton serves as Milwaukee’s Common Council president. One of the programs he has championed is the Milwaukee Promise Zone Initiative, designed to spur economic development.
Alderwoman Chantia Lewis
Lewis was elected to Milwaukee’s Common Council in 2016 as a nonpartisan affiliated with the Democratic Party. Her nonprofit organization, One Step At a Time, trains youth and adults to succeed in the job market.
Alderman Khalif J. Rainey
Rainey, a Common Council member in Milwaukee, has been consistently outspoken on issues that impact the Black community. For example, he called a Red Cross policy of keeping volunteers out of certain Milwaukee zip codes “classic ‘red lining’ that disproportionately affects people of color (in other words racism).”
County Supervisor Shelia Stubbs
Stubbs was first elected as a Dane County Supervisor in 2006. She is running for state assembly, but perhaps Ryan’s departure could convince her to seek a higher political office.
Judge Nia Trammell
Chief Judge Maxine A. White
In March 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed White to serve as chief judge of the state’s First Judicial District. She was an organizer of Warrant Withdrawal Wednesdays, a program that allowed people to have municipal warrants lifted without cash or fear of arrest.