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Wisconsin Democratic candidate Randy Bryce. Photo: Rob Groulx / Axios

Before Paul Ryan announced his retirement today, it was "unthinkable" for Democrat Randy Bryce to unseat him in Wisconsin's first district. Now, Bryce tells Axios he's hearing more voters say: "I voted for Ryan in the past and this time I’m voting for Bryce."

Why it matters: Ryan's GOP House seat hasn't been competitive since he was first elected in 1998. Although there are some Republicans rumored to run, like Wisconin's Speaker of the State Assembly Robin Vos, Bryce is now in a less unthinkable position. "We saw that same machine just get defeated in Pennsylvania, which is a more conservative area than Wisconsin," he said.

"It’s obvious there’s no fight left in him and I could see that for several months."
— Randy Bryce on Paul Ryan

Bryce's campaign has raised nearly $5 million since last June, which gives him an advantage over any other Republican candidate who might jump in this late. But the Congressional Leadership Fund, Ryan's super PAC, will likely put a lot of money behind whoever decides to run. "We’re not afraid of anybody," Bryce said, "and that’s made easier knowing so many people have our back."

The other side: "Speaker Ryan was in perfect shape to be re-elected by a significant margin, as he has been for the past twenty years," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan.

What's next: Knocking Republicans for their failed health care efforts, Bryce has always said he's running to "repeal and replace Paul Ryan." But it's more than that, he says. "It’s great that we have the repeal part down, which was definitely an uphill battle, but now we need to fight just as hard. It would be really horrible not to win now given how far we’ve come."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

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