He's a union leader who rules with an iron 'stache -- and Randy Bryce is coming for Paul Ryan's congressional seat

By Tierney McAfee
June 21, 2017 04:35 PM

He’s a union leader who rules with an iron ‘stache — and he’s coming for Paul Ryan’s congressional seat.

Randy Bryce, who announced on Sunday that he would challenge the house speaker in the 2018 midterm election, is a blue-collar Democrat, union ironworker, Army veteran and mustachioed single dad from Wisconsin. Adding to his intrigue are his Twitter handle, @IronStache, and what some have described as his strong “Ron Swanson vibes.”

‘Stache aside, Bryce’s debut campaign ad has already piqued politicos’ attention with its sharp — and personal — critique of Ryan’s and President Donald Trump‘s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In the video, a jeans-and-T-shirted Bryce listens as his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, describes the 20 drugs she must take to keep her excruciating pain at bay.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are thousands of people like her that don’t have what she has,” Bryce says in a voiceover. “The system is extremely flawed. I work every day so that me and my son have insurance.”

Bryce, a Wisconsin native who’s been an ironworker for 20 years, says he “can see what people need.”

“I decided to run for office because not everybody is seated at the table, and it’s time to make a bigger table,” he says.

He concludes the ad with an offer to the house speaker: “Let’s trade places. Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron and I’ll go to D.C.”

The viral campaign ad has struck a chord on Twitter, where Bryce is being hailed as a “champion of working people” and the “relatable non-politician everyone was looking for” in Trump.

Bryce responded to the outpouring of support with a tweet saying: “Knew launch would be good but this has been amazing. America – I didn’t think it was possible to love you more. But I do. Let’s do this. #4US.”