Wisconsin GOP convention arrives in Rothschild - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin GOP convention arrives in Rothschild

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ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) -

Republicans from across the state are arriving in the Wausau area for a major political event.

The state Republican convention is going on this weekend in the Wausau area. It's the first time in recent history the event has been held here.

Attendees will hear from a national Republican leader and two politicians who could very well be running for president in a few short years.

Governor Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-1st District) will speak Saturday. Republicans will also hear from Reince Priebus, the party's national committee chair. Priebus is from Wisconsin.

Those are some big names, and it's a lineup Republicans seem pretty excited about.

"If you had this lineup in Kansas or Kentucky or Missouri or Minnesota, they would be flocking out to see this great lineup of talent speaking at the convention. But this is just Wisconsin talent. And so I think as you come in, you'll see a lot of people excited about the movement that we've had going on in Wisconsin," said Rep. Sean Duffy (R-7th District).

"It's obvious that the center of all national politics is Wisconsin," added his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy.

There's some special attention right now on Gov. Walker and Rep. Ryan. They're both mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2016.

Walker attracted a lot of national attention for his successful recall election last year. Ryan enjoyed a wide audience during his time as vice-presidential nominee under Mitt Romney.

The party is coming off a tough election season nationally, but it fared better here in Wisconsin. Republicans control the governor's office, the state senate and the assembly.

"I think Wisconsin will play a significant role in the Republican party's resurgence nationwide," said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

Newsline 9 talked with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson Friday about Walker and Ryan. What will these political players mean for the national party? And will they jump into the presidential race?

"That's obviously up to them, but obviously they're on everybody's short list as a potential presidential candidate for 2016," said Johnson.

Rep. Duffy agreed.

"Next year or the year after, they may be on the national stage playing a far different role than they are right now in Wisconsin politics," he said.

Rep. Duffy is also slated to speak at the convention on Saturday. Sen. Johnson says he won't be there in person, but a recorded video message from him will be played.

Stay with Newsline 9 for coverage of the event.

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