COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — Rep. Tim Ryan, a 10-term Democratic congressman from northeast Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, has launched his bid for the state’s open Senate seat in 2022.
Ryan, 47, entered the contest Monday with backing from 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former Gov. Ted Strickland and other powerful Democrats.
In an announcement, Ryan said he is running to help Ohio workers.
“I am running to fight like hell in the U.S Senate to cut workers in on the deal,” he said in the announcement. “Ohioans are working harder than ever, they’re doing everything right, and they’re still falling behind.
“Countries all over the world are investing billions in infrastructure, education, health care, and their workforce to out-compete American businesses and workers. Our workers need a game plan to level the playing field and bring jobs home to Ohio.”
Ryan so far has a clear lane for his party’s nomination. Earlier, former state health director Amy Acton, who helped shape Ohio’s initial response to the pandemic working alongside Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, said she would not seek the nomination.
Ryan is running to replace Rob Portman, who announced earlier this year that he would retire from the Senate. Portman is a Republican, and several potential replacements have already joined the field on that side, including former state treasurer Josh Mandel and former state party chairman Jane Timken.
The race is expected to be hotly contested in Ohio, which sided with Republican Donald Trump in the past two presidential elections. The state is already represented in the Senate by one Democrat, Sherrod Brown, and the chamber is currently split 50-50.