(WASHINGTON) — Paul Ryan is spending millions on ads in Wisconsin, but it’s not to help get the GOP ticket to the White House — it’s to keep his congressional seat.
The GOP vice presidential nominee is spending about $2 million on television, radio and print ads to keep his House seat, Ryan’s congressional campaign manager Kevin Seifert confirms.
The ads will run in the Milwaukee and Madison media markets, and the campaign just released a new one on Wednesday, pushing the total number of television ads to eight less than two weeks before Election Day.
They will release a ninth before voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, a congressional aide tells ABC News.
Ryan is not the first vice presidential candidate to run two races at once. Vice President Joe Biden ran for his Senate seat in Delaware in 2008, while Joe Lieberman continued to run for the Senate in Connecticut in 2000 after Al Gore chose him as his running mate. Lyndon Johnson also ran for the Senate in Texas after he’d joined the Kennedy ticket in 1960. They all won their congressional races.
Ryan’s Democratic opponent is Rob Zerban, a former chef and businessman from Kenosha. ABC News rates the seat “safely Republican” for Ryan. Despite that, Zerban bested Ryan in the last fundraising period, raising $770,000 to Ryan’s $566,743.
The House Budget Chairman still had more cash on hand though, with $4 million to Zerban’s $2 million.
The most recent television ad focuses on fixing the tax code but like all the others, it’s hard to decipher what job Ryan is running for: his congressional seat or the vice presidency.
Besides the Wisconsin sweatshirts on the two factory workers Ryan is talking to and the Ryan for U.S. Congress logo at the end, the themes are similar to what he talks about on the Romney campaign stump. Other ads — set in places like a town hall meeting or with his family — cover the national debt, health care and job creation.
Seifert says the ad roll out is “consistent with past campaigns.”
“Paul Ryan is airing television and radio advertisements in 1st Congressional District media markets that are focused on addressing the primary issues of concern to Wisconsin voters,” Seifert told ABC News. ”Advertisements are one of the many ways Ryan for Congress is informing voters in Southern Wisconsin about the specific solutions Paul Ryan has offered to reduce our crushing burden of debt, fix our broken tax code, and strengthen and protect Medicare.”
An aide says the ads and the ad buy were “conceptualized well before” the vice presidential announcement on Aug. 11. They were shot in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville on Aug. 4, 6, and 7.
Aug. 5 is when Ryan secretly met with Romney and his senior adviser and veep vetter Beth Meyers in her Brookline, Mass., home. It was then that Romney offered Ryan the job.
Ryan will return home to Wisconsin for Halloween, telling two Wisconsin radio hosts last week he was going to do a campaign tour of the state to coincide with Halloween so he could take his three young children trick or treating.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Debbie Bryce, Idaho State Journal
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com
Angus M. Thuermer Jr., Wyofile