Ohio: Businessman Ponders Challenge to Rep. Ryan

Posted October 9, 2009 at 5:49pm

Bill Johnson (R), a businessman and Air Force veteran, is exploring a campaign against Rep. Tim Ryan (D) in the northeastern 17th district.

Johnson criticized Ryan, who’s serving his fourth term, for voting for the economic stimulus law and the cap-and-trade bill.

Johnson heads the Ohio Sales Tax Reform Initiative, which advocates sales tax “holidays— to help Ohio residents purchase school supplies, computers and other essential items.

Johnson said he will make a final decision on the race in December, when he’s had some time to determine whether there’s enough financial support to run a viable race in Ohio’s 17th, a Democratic-leaning district that includes Youngstown and part of Akron.

Ryan has topped 75 percent of the vote in each of his three re-election campaigns. He won 78 percent of the vote in 2008, when Barack Obama took 62 percent of the vote in the presidential balloting. But Johnson said he has received positive feedback.

“We believe, given the current climate, that we can make a difference in Ohio, and if the support is there, we would like to do that,— Johnson said.