Paul Ryan handily beat his main challenger in his state primary on Tuesday, sending the Speaker of the House on to the November election.
Associated Press called the vote for Ryan about half an hour after polls closed, leaving his long-shot opponent in Wisconsin’s first district, Paul Nehlen, to face defeat.
Nehlen was praised on Twitter by Republican nominee Donald Trump earlier in August in a public gesture that shook up the race. Trump withheld an endorsement from Ryan until last week.
Nehlen, a businessman, had also received an endorsement from former Gov. Sarah Palin.
Ryan and Trump have clashed before, most recently when Ryan defended the gold star Khan family, who engaged in a back-and-forth with Trump after their appearance at the Democratic National Convention.
“In times as uncertain as these, it is easy to resort to division. It’s simple to prey on people’s fears. That stuff sells, but it doesn’t stick. It doesn’t last. Most of all, it doesn’t work,” Ryan said in his remarks to reporters after the race was called.
He also took questions from reporters about Trump’s controversial Second Amendment remarks from Tuesday, which have been interpreted by many as suggesting that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, or her appointed judges if she were elected, should be shot.
Ryan said: “I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.”
Ryan took over his speaker position after John Boehner retired in 2015. He is serving his ninth term.
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