Republican Speaker Ryan re-elected to U.S. House from Wisconsin

November 8, 2016 10:09 PM EST

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks with an attendee during an "Election Night event" in Janesville, Wisconsin. REUTERS/Ben Brewer


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Paul Ryan was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by voters in his Wisconsin district on Tuesday, positioning him to reassert his claim to remain speaker of the House, the highest-ranking post in the U.S. Congress.

The 2012 vice presidential nominee, if returned to the speaker's chair by House members, may have a smaller Republican majority to work with if voters elect fewer Republicans. Most House races were still undecided.

Like all members of the House, other Republicans were also running for re-election from their home districts, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Along with Ryan, they were expected to seek re-election to their leadership posts. Closed-door leadership elections in both parties were expected to take place later in November. A new speaker will be elected by all members of Congress in January.

Ryan, 46, has been speaker since October 2015. His re-election to that job is not certain. Some House conservatives have criticized him, and they may have a stronger hand after Tuesday's voting.

A number of Republican lawmakers were angered in October when Ryan said he would not campaign with or defend Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who was in a closely fought race with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney)



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