Rep. Tim Ryan announces presidential run

Ohio congressman’s district is home to a General Motors plant that closed in March

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, is expected to launch his presidential campaign today. (Charlie Neibergall/AP file photo)
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, is expected to launch his presidential campaign today. (Charlie Neibergall/AP file photo)
Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:45am

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, announced Thursday that he will run for the Democratic nomination for president.

Ryan unveiled a campaign website at the same time he appeared on “The View” on ABC. According to The Vindicator, citing sources close to the congressman, a rally in downtown Youngstown will follow on Saturday.

Ryan has reportedly invited local organized labor leaders, a key constituency in the 13th District.

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Ryan has been critical of his Democratic Party since the election in 2016 — President Donald Trump carried three counties in his district that voted for former President Barack Obama in 2012 — as being insufficiently supportive of “blue collar” workers.

On his campaign website, Ryan pitches himself to voters as a champion of manufacturing.

“Like so many in America’s heartland, I come from a long line of factory workers who helped build our nation into a powerhouse of innovation,” he wrote. “But over the last 20 years, failed leadership and broken promises have destroyed the middle-class, forcing our economy into crisis and pushing the American Dream out of reach.”

Ryan also names health care, education, and veterans affairs as focuses, but has not as yet endorsed specific policy solutions.

The 13th District, home to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s corporate headquarters and a General Motors plant that closed in March, has seen a steep population decline as steel mills have shuttered over the years.

Ryan has often tacked to the right of the party, including advocating for cutting corporate tax rates as Republicans pushed the 2017 tax bill.

One year later, GM announced it would close the plant in Ryan’s district. The congressman said that “the American people deserve to know if the tax cuts they paid for are being used to inflate corporate profits at the expense of their economic security and the survival of American workers.” 

And in 2015 Ryan voted with Republicans in favor of a bill that called more thorough scrutiny of refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Ryan is perhaps best known for challenging Nancy Pelosi in a bid to lead the party as minority leader following the 2016 election. That effort fell short, 134 votes to 63 votes.

Joe Schiavoni, former state Senate minority leader and gubernatorial candidate, has expressed an interest in running in the 13th District if Ryan launches a run for president.

Schiavoni told The Akron Beacon Journal he received a flurry of text messages after news first broke about Ryan’s rumored presidential ambitions Wednesday.

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