Ryan, By Becoming Speaker, Makes Wisconsin History

Congressman Is First State Resident To Attain The Position

U.S. Embassy, Tokyo (CC-BY-ND)

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan cemented his place in Wisconsin history Friday by becoming the state’s first-ever resident to be speaker of the House of Representatives.

Ryan may have his work cut out for him keeping the Republican Party’s factions united, but University of Wisconsin-Madison Political Science Professor Barry Burden said Ryan’s place in Wisconsin history is clear.

“I think we’d have to say he’s one of the elite political figures in Wisconsin history when it comes to national-level politics,” said Burden. “There simply haven’t been many Wisconsinites who have gotten even near the level that Ryan is now at as speaker of the House.”

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Burden said the role is more significant than Ryan’s 2012 run for vice president on a losing ticket, since if Republicans maintain their majority, Ryan could be speaker for years.

While Ryan is the first speaker to come from Wisconsin, the state’s Legislative Reference Bureau says 12 state residents have served as U.S. Cabinet secretaries.