Three candidates running as Republicans in the 1st Congressional District all expressed strong support for President Trump during a debate held in Kenosha Thursday evening. The debate was organized by the Republican Party of Kenosha County, and drew close to 150 to the Madrigrano Auditorium on Gateway’s Kenosha campus.
“I support the President,” said Bryan Steil. “I look at the conservative reforms that are starting to get enacted in Washington.” Steil is an attorney for a Janesville area manufacturing firm and also serves on the UW Board of Regents.
Nick Polce, a former Army Special Forces member, said he, too, supports President Trump, but that more like-minded conservatives need to be elected to give him a hand. “The President needs some help,” Polce said. “He’s doing the best he can at the executive level.”
The third candidate who participated in the debate, Kevin “Adam” Steen, indirectly questioned Steil’s allegiance to Trump, given Ryan’s endorsement of Steil’s candidacy. At times, Trump and Ryan have clashed.
Steen, a Town of Wheatland residents, describes himself as a Christian conservative. He’s employed as an engineer.
On the issues, the three candidates appeared to differ only slightly.
There are two other candidates on the August 14th GOP primary ballot in the 1stcongressional district, but they weren’t invited to participate in the debate, which was organized by the Kenosha County Republican Party.
Jeremy Ryan, a liberal known as a prominent protester in Madison, and Paul Nehlen, who was banned from Twitter for racist and anti-Semitic posts, greeted audience members outside the hall as they arrived, but did not try to enter the event.
The winner of the Republican primary will meet either Cathy Myers or Randy Bryce, the two Democrats who are on their party’s ballot.
Listen to the full debate below