Paul Nehlen is a Republican candidate for Congress who’s running in the First Congressional District of Wisconsin, also known as the seat currently held by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Over the past few months, he’s gone full fascist, courting support from the alt-right both in Twitter DMs and in public.
Because of this, he’s been engaged in an ongoing battle with conservative Republicans like New York Post columnist John Podhoretz; in December, Nehlen told Podhoretz to “eat a bullet.” Later that same month, he was deemed too racist even for Breitbart, which said it had “cut all ties” and “removed his contributor page from the website” after a “series of anti-Semitic and pro-white supremacist comments.”
Today, Nehlen tweeted this:
While it may seem at first glance that making a list of your enemies in an Excel spreadsheet and including a tally of their religious and ethnic backgrounds is a completely normal and levelheaded thing to do, I can assure you that it is not.
This isn’t Nehlen’s first race. He ran against Ryan for the first time using Trump-like rhetoric in 2016, at one point wondering out loud while on a radio show, “Why do we have Muslims in this country?” Even in an anti-establishment year, however, Nehlen lost by 70 points.
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There’s reason to take Nehlen more seriously this time, however. According to a Politico profile of Ryan in December, the current Speaker is considering retiring, having finally accomplished his lifelong goal of writing hatred of the poor into the United States tax code. If Ryan does retire, it’ll be a wide open race in a district that has been held by Republicans since 1994, and Nehlen would have a much better shot at winning the primary without a ten-term incumbent to worry about.
The Democratic frontrunner in that race, union ironworker Randy Bryce, will be at the State of the Union tonight.