Paul Ryan-backed candidates win key primaries, in test of exiting House speaker’s influence

One politician is declaring a win in Tuesday’s major primaries even though he wasn’t on the ballot: That’s departing House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose endorsement helped lift two candidates to victory and underscored his continuing influence in Wisconsin.

Buoyed by Ryan’s endorsement, Bryan Steil, a former aide for Ryan from a prominent family in his hometown of Janesville, decisively won the GOP primary in the race to replace Ryan in the state’s 1st Congressional District. He received more than 50 percent of the vote, more than tripling his nearest competitor’s tally.