Rep. Paul Ryan began this year with about $3.2 million in campaign funds after raising more than $1 million in 2013’s fourth quarter, during which the Wisconsin Republican helped broker a budget agreement and said he planned to lead the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee beginning in 2015.
Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, raised $1,053,283 in the final three months of 2013, his campaign said in a filing today to the Federal Election Commission.
The $3,206,594 in available campaign funds he had as 2014 began probably will be one of the highest cash-on-hand totals for House members after all members of Congress file updated campaign reports by a Jan. 31 deadline.
Ryan’s individual donors included Abbott Laboratories CEO Miles White, who gave $5,200, and Intuit Inc. founder Scott Cook, who ponied up $2,600.
Robert Pollock, the CEO of Assurant Inc., a New York-based insurance provider, donated $5,000. Assurant Health, a unit of the coporation, is based in Milwaukee, just outside of Ryan’s district in southeastern Wisconsin, and some of its employees also donated last quarter to the congressman’s re-election campaign.
Ryan was the lead Republican negotiator for the budget agreement that Congress approved and President Barack Obama signed into law last month. Ryan told the Wall Street Journal last month he would like to lead the Ways and Means panel, which along with tax matters has jurisdiction over trade and Social Security policy. That panel’s current chairman, Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, must give up that post under the term limits imposed by the House’s Republican leadership.
“Ryan could inherit the effort to rewrite the U.S. tax code if it doesn’t succeed in 2014,” Bloomberg BNA’s Marc Heller reported Dec. 18.
Ryan probably won’t need all of the money he’s gathering to secure a ninth two-year term in a district where he’s been more politically dominant than its mildly Republican leanings suggest.
He took 55 percent of the vote in the 2012 election — down from his usual super-majorities, though still outpacing the 52 percent that the district gave him and Mitt Romney as the national Republican ticket. In 2010, Ryan won 68 percent of the vote.
Free again to devote all of his political energies to his district, Ryan probably will win a larger share of the vote this November, at the midpoint of President Barack Obama’s second term.
Despite Ryan’s vice presidential candidacy, Obama carried Wisconsin, 53 percent to 46 percent, in 2012 as he won re-election.