By Jason Hopkins
Recent revelations that Wisconsin congressional candidate Randy Bryce was arrested nine different times in his past has not stopped Bernie Sanders from hitting the campaign trail on his behalf.
Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders traversed Wisconsin over the weekend in an effort to help Democrats win election this midterm season. The self-described Democratic-socialist first stopped in the town of Eau Claire on Saturday morning to headline for Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, up for re-election this year and a top target of national Republicans. Later that day, Sanders went to Janesville to boost the profile of a Democratic candidate a little lower on the ballot box: Randy Bryce, a Democrat running to replace Republican Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.
“What this campaign is about and what Randy is about is saying enough is enough. We are going to have a government that represents all people and not just the one percent,” Sanders yelled to the crowd of several hundred supporters at United Auto Workers, Local 95. Both Sanders and Bryce repeated their desire to enact single-payer healthcare and immigration reform.
This is not the first time Sanders has visited Wisconsin to campaign for the man hoping to take Ryan’s House seat. The Vermont senator has been a supporter of his congressional bid since 2017. However, this was the first time he has stumped for Bryce since the discovery that he has been arrested a total of nine different times in his past.
A CNN report on July 6 broke the news that Bryce had been arrested a multitude of times. The 53-year-old was first arrested in 1991 for marijuana possession, property damage, theft and trespassing. He was arrested several years later in 1998 for drunk driving. Bryce went on to get arrested three more times for driving with a suspended license and registration. His other arrests pertain to his political activism.
“There is no excuse for what I did 20 years ago when I got behind the wheel and operated under the influence. I made a mistake and I regret it. I’ve worked very hard to learn from my mistakes so I can be a man my son can be proud of,” Bryce said in a statement after the discovery of his arrest record.
This wasn’t the first time Bryce’s past has come back to haunt him after the launch of his campaign.
A media investigation discovered that he refused to pay — and avoided — a former girlfriend to whom he owed thousands of dollars. Bryce even defied a judge’s order in 2004 to pay her. Bryce eventually did pay off that loan — nearly 15 years later and only after a local reporter contacted his campaign in November 2017 over the matter. An investigation also found that Bryce had been delinquent on his child support payments, and only became up-to-date until after launching his campaign.
Bryce — who has attempted to bill himself as a blue-collar, regular Joe — has blamed these debts on being a struggling ironworker. However, court documents indicate he was making as much as $76,000 just a few years ago.
None of these revelations have appeared to phase Sanders, who campaigned for Bryce yet again over the weekend. Sanders’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation in time for publication of this article.
Wisconsin’s Democratic primary will be held on August 14. Bryce is running against Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers, a woman who — despite having won elected office before — has failed to attract nearly the same amount of attention as Bryce.
After two decades of service in the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan announced in April that he would not seek re-election, leaving the seat up for grabs.
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