Folks in Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville look for him to bridge partisan divide in House

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Paul Ryan

JANESVILLE — Ask the people of Janesville, Wisconsin — Republicans and Democrats — what they think of Speaker-to-be Paul Ryan, and be ready for superlatives: Good neighbor, smart, friendly, a devoted father and an all-around nice guy.

Ask whether they think he can unify Washington, or even improve the economy of a Democratic union town still hurting from the closure of a General Motors plant in 2009, and Ryan’s constituents have their doubts.

Ryan is a political anomaly in the Rock County city close to the Illinois border — a nine-term Republican congressman and his party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee in a Democratic locale.

The 45-year-old is expected to succeed Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, October 29th after winning the support of various House GOP factions.