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Amar Kaleka to challenge Paul Ryan for 1st Cong. Dist. seat

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FOX6 News has learned Amar Kaleka plans to challenge Republican Paul Ryan for the 1st Congressional District seat.

Amar Kaleka

Amar Kaleka

"He's in his 13th year. I think it's about time we look at a different contender. I'm sorry, but Ryan has gone D.C. He really hasn't come back to do Town Halls. He doesn't touch his constituency. He votes against his constituency half the time," Kaleka said.

Kaleka is the son of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin President Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was one of six people shot and killed at the temple in August 2012.

Kaleka says it was the Sikh Temple tragedy that prompted him to consider a run.

"It is definitely a reason for why I'm running because he was gunned down in such a way that it opened my eyes to a lot of things that are going around, that are going on in our nation," Kaleka said.

Kaleka says a big focus of his will be gun control. Because of that, he realizes he'll most likely have one group in particular backing his opponent.

"I hope that they back the other side. I hope that they back Paul Ryan because people will see that there are special interests that are running our campaigns," Kaleka said.

Other challenges Kaleka foresees are name recognition and campaign funding.

"It's a scary situation because I'm not going to have that financing. I'm a middle class guy. I don't make over six figures per year. But here's a guy who's now gone from maybe having only $200,000 of net worth to multi-million dollars in Congress," Kaleka said.

Before he faces Ryan, Kaleka could face a primary against Rob Zerban, who ran against Ryan in the past two elections.

"He's not bringing anything new to the table. I dearly hope we can run a good primary together if we run," Kaleka said.

Ryan has held the 1st Congressional District seat since January 1999.