Chelsea Handler Campaigns With Paul Ryan's Democratic Challenger

Randy Bryce / Chelsea Handler Twitter
February 1, 2018

Liberal comedian Chelsea Handler on Wednesday appeared at a $500-a-head fundraiser for Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who is vying to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) in November.

The event took place in Wisconsin's first congressional district, where Bryce is running for the Democratic nomination. Bryce, a union ironworker, announced his candidacy in June, making his support for a $15 minimum wage and a single-payer health care system central to his campaign.

Handler first announced that she would headline the fundraiser on Monday. It is unclear when Bryce first arranged the fundraiser with Handler, but his campaign did raffle off a "special invite," for donors willing to contribute up to $2,700, to attend "an event" with Handler and Bryce.

After the fundraiser, Handler claimed on Twitter that Ryan received "500k from the Koch brothers the day after tax reform passed" while praising Bryce as someone who "is not for sale."

In September, Handler endorsed Bryce's campaign while he was a guest on her Netflix series "Chelsea," citing his support for single-payer health care as a key reason.

Handler, a vocal critic of the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, announced in October that she will end her show after its second season to become a "more knowledgeable and engaged citizen."

Bryce's primary opponent, former teacher Cathy Myers, has criticized him for his history of delinquent child support payments and bankruptcy. Myers has accused Bryce of being insensitive to women after he insinuated on Twitter that Ivanka Trump might enter into an affair with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Bryce has refused to respond to Myers' criticism and has denied her requests to debate, instead choosing to focus directly on Ryan and the general election.

Ryan handily won reelection in 2016, defeating his Democratic opponent by 35 percentage points.