Ohio congressman announces run for president

Youngstown-area Congressman Tim Ryan announced today he is running for president in 2020.

Ryan is the first Ohio candidate to announce a run for the White House.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown explored a run, but decided against it a few weeks ago.

Ryan made his announcement online. He is set to appear on The View today as well.

“It’s time for us to start building the America we deserve.An America that invests in public education, affordable health care and an economy that works for all of us. An America united by a shared vision for our future,” Ryan said on his website this morning.

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“A quiet revolution is happening in this country. One that is driven by compassion and the independent spirit our nation is known for. It’s time for us to invest in our values so we can focus on what really matters: healing and uniting our nation.”

Ryan has represented the Youngstown area in Congress since 2003.

Ryan, a Niles Democrat, has made periodic flirtations with higher office in recent years, passing on bids for Ohio governor in 2014 and 2018 and U.S. Senate in favor of representing a district that he won with 68 percent of the vote in 2014 and 2016 and with 61 percent of the vote last year.

But Ryan did, however, challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D–Calif., for minority leader after Democrats suffered sweeping losses in the industrial Midwest in the 2016 elections. During that race, he positioned himself as a Midwestern Democrat who could win some of the same blue-collar workers that embraced President Donald Trump in 2016 and criticized the Democratic Party for focusing too heavily on issues that appealed to the coasts rather than the Midwest.

He lost the minority leader race 134–63, but has emerged as a steady critic of the Democratic platform, originally withholding support of Pelosi when Democrats won the House last November. He ultimately voted for her for speaker.

Ryan joins a crowded field for president with more than a dozen Democrats in the race including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is also in the race. Other candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg are expected to announce soon.

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