Ryan raises $1.7 million in first half of 2013

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is cashing in on his political clout.

The Janesville Republican and former vice presidential candidate has raised $1.7 million in the first six months of the year, according to records cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Bob Biersack, a senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics, said the fundraising level isn't surprising, given Ryan's visibility and the fact he remains relevant as a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

"He's kind of in another category now — those members who may be looking at significantly higher office in the future," said Biersack, a former Federal Election Commission staffer.

"These people often raise a lot more than they have in the past," he added "and they usually make an effort to reach beyond their traditional supporters."

Ryan's fundraising haul from January to June was nearly three times more than any other member of Wisconsin's congressional delegation. U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, a La Crosse Democrat, was in second place with $585,172.

Ryan, in his eighth term, is serving as chairman of the House Budget Committee for a second session.

"Both his committee position, as well as his vice presidential run would help his fundraising at this stage, almost without much effort on his part," Biersack said.

The records show Ryan draws most of his financial support from individuals, rather than special-interest money from political action committees.

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin's 5th congressional district, is at the bottom of the list for funds raised. Sensenbrenner has $66,487 in campaign money this year.

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