Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan will begin running ads in the race for his House district in Wisconsin, a potential sign of uneasiness about his re-election, which will probably be interpreted more broadly as a lack of confidence in Mitt Romney’s chances in the Presidential election.
Contracts formalized Tuesday with at least one Milwaukee television station show that Ryan’s congressional ads will start airing Wednesday morning and go initially for two weeks. The Ryan congressional ads start in the same week as presidential ticket mate Mitt Romney’s commercials went on air in Wisconsin, although the cost for the two sets of ads are drawn from different campaign accounts.
Wisconsin law allows Ryan to seek both offices simultaneously but only serve in one if he wins the pair. His Democratic opponent in the state’s 1st District is Rob Zerban, a former county official.
Ryan’s congressional campaign manager Kevin Seifert confirmed that ads defending the seat will run in the Milwaukee and Madison markets. He said Ryan expects to run House ads through the Nov. 6 election. They will be paid for with a Ryan campaign fund that brimmed with more than $5.4 million as of late July.
It’s true that the $5.4 million in Ryan’s campaign account does him no good for the Presidential election (though he could donate it to efforts to elect House Republicans or individual Republican candidates), so he might as well spend it. Indeed, Joe Biden ran a one-minute spot in October 2008, when he was running for US Senate simultaneously with the Presidential election (against Christine O’Donnell, I should point out). But that was a late-season biographical spot in a race that everyone knew he would have no problem winning. It never even mentioned the Senate election. Ryan is starting an