Rep. Paul Ryan

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The latest in a seemingly endless series of political earthquakes shook the country Wednesday, when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin announced he will not seek re-election. There had long been rumors that he would retire in the next year or so, but Ryan’s announcement stunned both Republicans and Democrats.

The decision comes during a difficult period for Republican officeholders, as Democrats have won special elections and statewide races for seats that had previously been seen as safely in the hands of the GOP.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan rocked the political world on Wednesday when the House Speaker announced he will not seek reelection in November. Ryan has held the seat that covers parts of southeastern Wisconsin for nearly 20 years and plans to finish out his term. He says he’s retiring with “no regrets.”

It means the race for the 1st congressional district is wide open this fall. Voters, elected officials and potential candidates weighed in on Ryan’s legacy – and what’s next.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election and will retire in January.

"You all know I did not seek this job," Ryan said, addressing reporters. "I took it reluctantly. ... I have no regrets."

Ryan, 48, cited wanting to be around his adolescent children more often.

Al Drago/Getty Images

Speculation about Paul Ryan's future is swirling in Washington, DC. That's because a couple of news outlets are reporting that they've learned that the longtime Wisconsin GOP lawmaker plans to resign -- or not run for reelection next fall.

Marti Mikkelson

It took nearly two years, but House Speaker Paul Ryan finally held a town hall meeting in his district Monday night.

About 300 people attended the event at the Racine Theater Guild. Several hundred others gathered outside the venue to protest. Ryan answered questions on a wide range of topics.

Marti Mikkelson

The 2018 elections are more than a year away but already, several candidates are talking about challenging Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. He’s held his seat in his hometown of Janesville for nearly 20 years. Many voters are upset with Ryan’s shepherding of a replacement to the Affordable Care Act through the House, and that he hasn’t held any open town hall meetings in his district since the presidential election.

Marti Mikkelson

House Speaker Paul Ryan held a so-called town hall-style meeting in his district Thursday. But, the public wasn’t invited. Instead, Ryan presided over what his office dubbed a “business” town hall, at an Oak Creek manufacturer. Ryan addressed employees’ questions on a wide range of issues.

Ryan is squeezing in a couple of stops in his southeastern Wisconsin district before Congress returns to work next week. On Thursday, the House Speaker visited Oak Creek manufacturer WPC Technologies. It makes an anti-corrosive ingredient used to coat metal products.

Alex Wong -- Getty Images

Although the 2018 elections are more than a year away, a couple people are thinking of challenging Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville. One national poll has his approval rating as low as 14 percent. Yet closer to home, the latest Marquette poll shows 45 percent of Wisconsinites think Ryan is doing a good job.

Among the issues likely to surface in the race – accessibility.

Marti Mikkelson

While the House  is on break - and while reaction continues to be intense, Speaker Paul Ryan answered questions on Thursday about President Trump's decision this week to fire FBI Director James Comey, while protesters also made their presence known.

Ryan came to Racine, to celebrate a company’s plans to expand. InSinkErator manufactures garbage disposals and hot water dispensers.

Just before House Republicans re-elected Paul Ryan as their speaker, the Wisconsin Republican made a bold proclamation.

"Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government," Ryan told reporters one week after Election Day. "This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump's victory into real progress for the American people."

Ryan continued: "If we are going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold, and we have to go big."

President-elect Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan agree that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with some other health insurance system is a top priority.

But they disagree on whether overhauling Medicare should be part of that plan. Medicare is the government-run health system for people age 65 and older and the disabled.

Trump said little about Medicare during his campaign, other than to promise that he wouldn't cut it.

Ryan, on the other hand, has Medicare in his sights.

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are vowing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the signature health care overhaul of President Obama.

Trump has offered a few ideas of where he'd like to see a health care overhaul go, such as a greater reliance on health savings accounts, but he hasn't provided a detailed proposal.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been unanimously re-nominated by his party to continue to serve as speaker in the 115th Congress.

According to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, Ryan was nominated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus that helped to push out former House Speaker John Boehner.

Updated at 6:30 p.m.

The Republican National Committee is sticking with embattled GOP nominee Donald Trump even as House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday he would no longer defend his party's presidential nominee.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville has been spending the summer fending off a challenge from a political newcomer in Tuesday’s primary election. Ryan has held Wisconsin’s 1st district congressional seat since 1999 and has never had a problem getting re-elected. But this year, outside money is pouring in for Ryan’s opponent Paul Nehlen, a business executive from Delavan. While Nehlen is viewed as a long shot, Ryan isn’t taking anything for granted.

Pages