Paul Ryan's opponent challenges him to debate

Posted at 4:13 PM, Oct 18, 2016

JANESVILLE -- Paul Ryan's democratic opponent for the 1st Congressional District has invited the Speaker of the House to a debate that would be held next week.

One of Ryan Solen's staffers made the trip to Janesville Tuesday to hand deliver a debate invitation to Paul Ryan's congressional office.

Voters in his district told TODAY's TMJ4 they feel a debate is an important part of the democratic process.

"I think a debate is always good, opening up the lines of communication is always good," said Tom Hansen.

Beverly Crans, who is also a voter in District 1, said debates help reach the people who may not actively pay attention to politics.

"Some people aren't so interested that they get involved in it but if they hear snippets they'll tune in," said Crans.

Ryan Solen has already booked a venue and a moderator for the debate, which would take place October 29 at the Blackhawk Technical College.

Solen said in a statement regarding the invitation:

"Today my Chief of Staff hand delivered a request for Speaker Paul Ryan to attend a debate on October 29 that my campaign has coordinated. At this debate, I hope to present the perspective that bipartisanship must be restored and that is the only way to make progress in government, unlike what we are experiencing now where Paul Ryan seems incapable of separating personal and party grudge from what is best for the country. I expect both of us to be challenged on the many issues facing Wisconsin, America, and our place in today's world and I look forward to presenting my plan for a stronger future."

Solen is a Democrat from Mount Pleasant and works as a digital forensic specialist and computer security analyst.

According to his website, Solen wants to balance the budget and pay off the national debt, he supports universal health care, he wants to reform college tuition and student loan regulations and revise and simplify the tax code.

Paul Ryan's campaign website says he is committed to securing the border, stopping ISIS and future attacks, balancing the budget and cutting spending and he opposes trade agreements that don't benefit the United States.

A spokesman from Paul Ryan's office said in an emailed statement, "We will consider the request and attempt to rearrange previously scheduled events."