Ohio’s Tim Ryan Latest Democrat to Enter Race For The White House

April 4, 2019 by Dan McCue
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, pauses while speaking to members of the media following the House Democratic Caucus elections on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, for House leadership positions. Ryan challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., but lost, 134-63. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ohio Representative Tim Ryan used an appearance on ABC’s “The View” Thursday to announce he’s joining an already crowded Democratic field running for president in 2020.

The 45-year-old political moderate from Niles, Ohio, is perhaps best known outside of his district for his unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader is 2016.

At the time the former member of  the “30 Something” Working Group, a congressional caucus organized by Pelosi to engage younger people in politics, said he felt the Democratic party had neglected middle America and had suffered a string of defeats as a result.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in mid-November 2016, Ryan said, “If you take state and federal officials, Democratic officials, we have the smallest number since reconstruction.”

“If that’s not a call for doing something differently, I don’t know what is.” the outspoken Ohioan  added.

Pelosi responded by agreeing to give more leadership opportunities to junior members. She then went on to defeat Ryan by a vote of 134–63.

He again tried to challenge Pelosi in 2018, but ultimately decided to back her.

Ryan represents the district formerly held by the late Democratic Rep. Jim Traficant, for whom he once worked. Before being elected to Congress in 2003, he served two years in the Ohio state senate.

In a statement on his campaign website Ryan again spoke of a neglected middle America, an America left desperate by “failed leadership and broken promises.”

“When our local GM factory was shut down last Thanksgiving, I got a call from my daughter, who was consoling her friend, whose father was an auto worker and was just laid off,” Ryan continued. “My daughter said to me, with tears in her voice, ‘You have to do something.’ That’s why I am running for president. It’s time to do something.”

He added: “The devastating stress and anxiety that comes with living paycheck to paycheck, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take your child to the doctor is making us sick and has fractured and divided our communities across the nation … It’s time for us to start building the America we deserve.”

Ryan is expected to sell himself on the campaign trail as a moderate who can win in formerly Democratic blue-collar areas that went for Donald Trump in 2016. He plans an official kickoff rally in downtown Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday.

Ryan isn’t likely to be the last Democrat to enter the 2020 presidential stakes. Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to launch a White House bid by the end of the month.

And Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost last year’s governor’s race in Georgia, is also considering a presidential bid.

Appearing on MSNBC Thursday morning, Abrams said she doesn’t expect to decide on a presidential bid until the fall because “the average voter is not paying attention until Labor Day.”

She later told The Wall Street Journal that a White House bid is “probably third on the list, but it’s an important consideration.”

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