Republican speaker Paul Ryan re-elected to US House from Wisconsin

US speaker of the House Paul Ryan gestures to the crowd during an ‘Election Night event’ in Janesville, Wisconsin. (Reuters Photo)

Republican Paul Ryan was re-elected to the US House of Representatives by voters in his Wisconsin district on Tuesday, positioning him to reassert his claim to remain speaker of the House, the highest-ranking post in the US Congress.

The 2012 vice presidential nominee, if returned to the speaker’s chair by House members, may have a smaller Republican majority to work with if voters elect fewer Republicans. Most House races were still undecided.

Like all members of the House, other Republicans were also running for re-election from their home districts, including House majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House majority whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Along with Ryan, they were expected to seek re-election to their leadership posts. Closed-door leadership elections in both parties were expected to take place later in November. A new speaker will be elected by all members of Congress in January.

Ryan, 46, has been speaker since October 2015. His re-election to that job is not certain. Some House conservatives have criticised him, and they may have a stronger hand after Tuesday’s voting.

A number of Republican lawmakers were angered in October when Ryan said he would not campaign with or defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was in a closely fought race with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night.

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