Rob Zerban is a former small business owner who currently serves as Kenosha County Supervisor. Zerban has set his sights on defeating conservative firebrand Rep. Paul Ryan (R) in Wisconsin’s first congressional district. Ryan has a national profile as the leading spokesman for the harsh economic policies promoted by the tea party. Zerban will have an uphill battle to defeat him, but we with the vast unpopularity of Ryan’s proposals and an emboldened and enthusiastic base, we believe he has to potential to win an upset victory.
Ryan was not always the hard core conservative he is known as today. As recently as a few years ago, political experts considered him a relatively moderate Republican sometimes willing to vote against his party. In the last two years, however, Ryan has emerged as the leading voice for right wing economic policies that attempt to balance the budget without raising taxes. This April, he unveiled an economic plan that slashes domestic spending and repeals President Obama’s stimulus plan. This plan was widely criticized, with the harshest criticism focused on his proposal to reform Medicare by converting it to a voucher system, effectively ending Medicare as we know it.
Rob Zerban understands how disastrous the Ryan plan would be to working families if implemented. Zerban was raised by a single mother, who struggled to make ends meet. He put himself through culinary school with the help of Pell Grants and student loans. After working in restaurants throughout the country, he decided to follow his dream of opening his own small business.
Zerban also understands the importance of promoting foreign policies based on cooperative diplomacy rather than military force. He believes in President Obama’s vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and for negotiations with Russia to continue nuclear weapons reductions. He will vote in favor of full funding for programs to secure and retrieve vulnerable nuclear materials that terrorists could use to build a nuclear weapon. He supports ending the costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and promoting diplomatic solutions to the stand-offs over Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions.
Zerban faces a challenge defeating Paul Ryan, but there are strong positive signs along the campaign trail. Ryan has always won reelection by comfortable margins, but he has never faced a strong, well-funded challenger. In this election, Zerban will be receiving widespread support from groups across the country opposed to the Ryan plan. Also, the district is not as conservative as the policies Ryan is promoting, as evidenced by the fact that President Obama won the district with 52% of the vote in 2008.
Paid for by Council for a Livable World Candidate Fund and authorized by Zerban for Congress. Contributions are not tax deductible.