Paul Ryan's Rapid Ascension from Janesville Craig Grad to Romney's Running Mate
The Wisconsin native, in his seventh term as congressman, made a name for himself in recent years with his budget proposals and proposed changes to Medicare.
Wisconsin's own Paul Ryan has long been considered a rising star of the Republic Party, and on Saturday, it was announced that the Janesville native is the choice of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his running mate.
But who is the 42-year-old Paul Ryan, and how did he land in a spotlight he'll share with Romney for the next three and a half months, and perhaps beyond?
Ryan, born and raised in Janesville, graduated from Janesville Craig High School before attending Miami University of Ohio, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in economics and political science.
For the next seven years, Ryan got his feet wet in the political scene. He worked for his family's consulting firm, was a speechwriter and helped Jack Kemp in his bid for vice president.
Ryan has represented Wisconsin's first congressional district since 1999, when he defeated Democrat Lydia Spottswood for a the seat vacated by former Rep. Mike Neumann, who had decided to run for Senate.
Despite running in a predominantly Democratic district, Ryan won by 15 points over Spottswood and has maintained the seat ever since, defeating Jeffery Thomas four times, Marge Krupp in 2008 and John Heckenlively in 2010.
This summer, he was locked into a campaign battle with Democratic businessman Rob Zerban, who was challenging the popular Republican for his congressional seat.
Early on in his congressional career, he married Janna Little in 2000. The couple has three children, a daughter and two sons.
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Currently serving his seventh term in Congress, Ryan has made a name for himself for what he called "The Roadmap to America's Future," a budget plan he introduced in 2010, and his proposed changes to Medicare.
In March 2012, he was also instrumental in introducing a response to President's Barack Obama's 2013 budget, just months after he was named runner-up as Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" of 2011.
In an article in which the magazine called Ryan "The Profit," the Congressman from Wisconsin was lauded for his persistence with putting his roadmap - later renamed the "Path to Prosperity" - in front of Washington D.C. decision-makers.
"What Ryan had this year was the courage to look the future in the eye. It is a seer's work to glimpse around the corner and sound an alarm. And in a democratic republic, it is the job of voters to choose a path away from danger. Ryan would say that all he has done is sound the alarm. The hard work — and some hard years — remains, because for all the shocking and unsettling changes embodied in Ryan's proposal, it wouldn't balance the federal budget until 2040. The prophet of 2011 will be 70 years old." - Time Magazine
His rapid ascension among the GOP ranks did not go unnoticed and several thought the young, fresh-faced Republican would have made a solid choice to give President Obama a run for the presidency in 2012. But Ryan decided he was better suited to focus on debt and entitlement reform as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
"I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation," Ryan told The Weekly Standard. "While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party's nomination for President. I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation."
And with Romney as his party's top choice, Ryan now finds himself as the right-hand man to the GOP's choice to run the country.