LIMA — Ohio Democratic voters have given U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan the mandate to flip the state’s second Senate seat blue in November. Now Ryan is hoping to fulfill that mandate by appealing to a wide swath of Ohio voters who feel that Washington, D.C. has forgotten them.
“We’re going to continue to go everywhere,” Ryan said, during a brief stop Wednesday in Lima to meet with media. “We want to meet people where they are. I come from an area up in the Youngstown area, a small town, Niles, Ohio, and that area’s largely been forgotten. So I’m here to say to these forgotten communities like Lima that you will not be forgotten under my watch.”
Ryan won the Democratic Senate primary decisively Tuesday, garnering 70 percent of the total Democratic vote. Now in taking his message to the state as a whole, Ryan hopes to appeal to what he called the “exhausted majority” of the people who tire of partisan divides.
“I don’t care who they voted for in the past,” he said. “It’s about us moving forward together into the future.”
Ryan hopes to promote growth in the region’s manufacturing base, including Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.
“I’ve worked hard on the tank plant here over the course of my career and will continue to do that,” he said. “We’ve got to get these tanks to Poland. They’re part of our national security. They’re part of pushing back on Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.”
Ryan will be opposed by venture capitalist JD Vance who authored the 2016 memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy” and gained the endorsement of former President Donald Trump in a crowded Republican primary. As far as Ryan is concerned, Vance has already disqualified himself in the eyes of Ohio voters.
“He said that America is a joke,” Ryan said. “And he said that he’s really not comfortable in Ohio anymore with all the time he spent in California, and there’s no place I’d rather be than Ohio.”
Ryan also described Vance as being beholden to hedge funds and big banks, rather than being an advocate for the working class. Vance’s campaign press secretary, Taylor Van Kirk, responded by pointing to Ryan’s time in Congress, linking him to the Washington establishment.
“Career politicians like Tim Ryan presided over the managed decline of our nation and are the reason why China is eating our lunch,” she said in a statement. “JD is running to reverse this trend driven by our elite establishment.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.