After Paul Ryan’s Retirement, Can Anti-Semite Paul Nehlen Win The GOP Primary? by the Forward

After Paul Ryan’s Retirement, Can Anti-Semite Paul Nehlen Win The GOP Primary?

Image by Twitter

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announcement Wednesday that he will not seek another term could open the door for a white supremacist to win the Republican Party’s primary in his district.

Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter in February after a series of racist and anti-Semitic tweets, is now the most prominent Republican candidate in Wisconsin’s First District.

Nehlen, who ran and lost against Ryan 84%-16% in 2016, reacted to the news on Facebook, his primary means of communicating with the public. Ryan’s retirement is “good news for America, bad news for special interests who bought Paul Ryan’s vote,” he wrote. “My focus has always been on YOU.”

Nehlen asked for donations, noting that fundraising portals like PayPal and Anedot have broken ties with him, which he blamed on “economic terrorists.”

Nehlen has appeared in media with anti-Semitic figures like David Duke, blamed “Jewish media” for unfair press coverage and published an enemies list of Jewish journalists.

But fellow white nationalists have distanced themselves from Nehlen in recent months because many felt he was being too overt in his racist sentiments. Nehlen was banned last week from Gab, a Twitter-like platform popular with the “alt-right,” after revealing the secret identity of a prominent troll with whom he had ideological disagreements.

The state Republican party condemned Nehlen in February after his Twitter ban. Another candidate, Army veteran and security consultant Nick Polce, is also running in the Republican primary. Other candidates have until June 1 to declare their candidacy.

As of the end of 2017, the latest quarter for which Federal Election Commission figures are available, Nehlen has raised over $162,000 in individual campaign contributions, compared to $950 for Polce.

Contact Aiden Pink at or on Twitter, @aidenpink


Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

Can Paul Nehlen Win GOP Primary After Paul Ryan Quits?

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

After Paul Ryan’s Retirement, Can Anti-Semite Paul Nehlen Win The GOP Primary?

Thank you!

This article has been sent!