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Tim Ryan (Ohio politician)

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Tim Ryan
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byJames Traficant
Succeeded byEmilia Sykes
Constituency17th district (2003–2013)
13th district (2013–2023)
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
January 3, 2001 – December 19, 2002
Preceded byAnthony Latell
Succeeded byMarc Dann
Personal details
Timothy John Ryan

(1973-07-16) July 16, 1973 (age 50)
Niles, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Andrea Zetts
(m. 2013)
Children1 and 2 stepchildren
EducationBowling Green State University (BA)
University of New Hampshire (JD)

Timothy John Ryan (born July 16, 1973) is an American politician who served as a U.S. representative for Ohio from 2003 to 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Ohio's 13th congressional district from 2013 to 2023, having previously represented Ohio's 17th congressional district from 2003 to 2013. Ryan's district included a large swath of northeastern Ohio, from Youngstown to Akron. He was the Democratic nominee in the 2022 United States Senate election in Ohio.

Born in Niles, Ohio, Ryan worked as an aide to U.S. Representative Jim Traficant after studying political science at Bowling Green State University, and earned a Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He served in the Ohio Senate from 2001 to 2002 before winning the election to succeed Traficant.

In November 2016, Ryan launched an unsuccessful challenge to unseat Nancy Pelosi as party leader of the House Democrats. He was also a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination before ending his campaign in 2019 to run for reelection to the House.[1] Ryan was reelected to his tenth term in 2020.[2] In 2021, Ryan announced his candidacy for Ohio's Senate seat and won the Democratic nomination with 70% of the vote. He lost to Republican nominee J. D. Vance in the November 8, 2022, general election.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Ryan was born in Niles, Ohio, the son of Rochelle Maria (Rizzi) and Allen Leroy Ryan;[4] he is of Irish and Italian ancestry. Ryan's parents divorced when he was seven years old, and Ryan was raised by his mother.[5] Ryan graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, where he played football as a quarterback and coached junior high basketball. He was recruited to play football at Youngstown State University, but a knee injury ended his playing career and he transferred to Bowling Green State University.[5]

Ryan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Bowling Green in 1995 and was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. After college, he joined the staff of Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant.[5] In 2000, Ryan earned a Juris Doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire.[6] From 2000 to 2002 he served half a term in the Ohio State Senate.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Official portrait, 2010


After Jim Traficant was convicted on criminal charges in 2002, Ryan declared his candidacy for the 17th district. As the result of redistricting following the 2000 census, the 17th, which had long been based in Youngstown, had been pushed west and included much of Portage County and part of Akron. Before the redistricting, all of Akron had been part of the 14th district, represented by eight-term Democrat Tom Sawyer. The 14th had been eliminated in 2000; most of it was drawn into the 13th district of fellow Democrat Sherrod Brown, but Sawyer's home was drawn into the 17th. Ryan was initially seen as an underdog in a six-way Democratic primary that included Sawyer.[5]

In the 2002 Democratic primary, Ryan defeated Sawyer, who was seen as insufficiently labor-friendly in the newly drawn district. In the November 2002 general election, he faced Republican Insurance Commissioner Ann Womer Benjamin as well as Traficant, who ran as an independent from his prison cell. Ryan won with 51% of the vote to Benjamin's 37%. When he took office in January 2003, he was the youngest Democrat in the House, at 29 years of age. He was reelected to represent the 17th district five times,[7][8] only once facing a contest nearly as close as his first. In 2010, he was held to 53% of the vote; Traficant, running as an independent, took 16%.

Since redistricting in 2012, he has served five terms as the U.S. representative for the 13th district.


Ryan speaking at a rally for Hillary Clinton, October 2016

In his first year in office in 2003, Ryan was one of seven members of Congress to vote against the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act, and one of eight to oppose ratification of the Federal Trade Commission's establishment of a National Do Not Call Registry.[9]

In 2010, Ryan voted for the Stupak Amendment restricting federal funding for abortions, but in January 2015, he announced that having "gained a deeper understanding of the complexities and emotions that accompany the difficult decisions [about whether to end a pregnancy]" over his time in public office, he had reversed his position on abortion and now identified as pro-choice.[10]

In 2010, Ryan introduced the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, which sought punitive trade tariffs on countries, notably China, that were engaging in currency manipulation. It passed the House overwhelmingly but never made it to the floor in the Senate. In an October 2010 interview with conservative magazine Human Events, Ryan said tax increases on small businesses were necessary "because we have huge deficits. We gotta shore up Social Security. We gotta shrink our deficits."[11][12]

Ryan initiated a bid to replace Pelosi as House Minority Leader on November 17, 2016, prompted by colleagues after the 2016 presidential election.[13] After Pelosi agreed to give more leadership opportunities to junior members,[14] she defeated Ryan by a vote of 134–63 on November 30.[15]

Ryan supported the Iran nuclear deal to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. In April 2016, he tweeted, "I was in Jerusalem a few weeks ago & saw firsthand the dangerous threat Israelis face. Israel has the right to defend itself from terror."[16]

Around 2018, Ryan helped Adi Othman, an undocumented immigrant in Youngstown, Ohio, remain in the United States.[17] Othman had lived in the United States for nearly 40 years, ran several businesses in Youngstown, was married to a US citizen and had four US-born children.[17] Ryan repeatedly presented a bill to Congress whereby Othman would be granted a more thorough review of his case to stay in the United States (Othman disputed a verdict by immigration officials on a matter that affected his legal status); the fact that the bill was in motion meant that Othman could temporarily stay.[17] Othman was deported from the United States in February 2018 after President Donald Trump directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to increase the number of arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants.[17] Ryan condemned the deportation, saying, "To watch these families get ripped apart is the most heart-breaking thing any American citizen could ever see ... Because you are for these families, it doesn't mean you are not for a secure border."[17]

Ryan chaired the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, which investigated the January 6 United States Capitol attack.[18] In May 2021, Ryan angrily chastised Senate Republicans for blocking a January 6 commission to investigate the January 6 United States Capitol attack.[19]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

2020 presidential campaign[edit]

Tim Ryan for America
Campaign2020 United States presidential election (Democratic primaries)
CandidateTim Ryan
Representative from Ohio's 17th congressional district (2002–2013) and Ohio's 13th congressional district (2013–2023)
AffiliationDemocratic Party
AnnouncedApril 4, 2019
SuspendedOctober 24, 2019
HeadquartersGaithersburg, Maryland[26]
ReceiptsUS$1,341,246.39[27] (12/31/2019)
SloganOur Future Is Now
Campaign website
Ryan campaigning at the 2019 Iowa State Fair

After the 2018 midterms, Ryan was seen as a possible candidate for the 2020 presidential election.[28] In February and March 2019, he traveled to early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.[29] Ryan's 2020 presidential campaign officially began on April 4, 2019, when he announced his candidacy in the Democratic primaries.[30] He also announced that he would seek the nomination on The View.[31][32] After qualifying for only two debates and continuously polling below 1% nationwide, Ryan formally withdrew from the race on October 24, 2019. He was reelected to the House of Representatives in 2020.[33][34]

2022 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Final results by county
Final results by county in 2022:
  •   80–90%
  •   70–80%
  •   60–70%
  •   50–60%
  Tim Ryan
  •   60–70%
  •   50–60%

On January 25, 2021, Republican U.S. Senator from Ohio Rob Portman announced that he would not seek reelection in 2022.[35] Ryan filed paperwork to run to replace him.[36] On April 26, 2021, Ryan announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate in a video posted via Twitter.[37]

Ryan defeated Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson in the Democratic primary and faced Republican nominee J. D. Vance in the general election.[38] In pursuit of center-right voters,[39] Ryan's campaign sought to portray him as a moderate or "independent", highlighting that he voted for some of former President Donald Trump's policies.[40] Ryan also criticized and distanced himself from fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden, suggesting that Biden should not seek reelection in 2024,[41] and progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, whose endorsement he seemingly rejected.[42]

A Ryan campaign ad, repeatedly blaming China for the loss of American jobs,[43][44] attracted criticism from politicians and Asian American groups, who said it encouraged Sinophobia and anti-Asian hate. Representative Grace Meng called on Ryan to stop airing it.[45]

On November 8, 2022, Ryan lost to Vance in the general election by 6 points.[46]

Political views[edit]

Ryan is an advocate of economic protectionism, unionization, and steps to reduce income inequality.[47][48][49] A critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he has criticized George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's trade policies.[47][48][50]

Ryan has supported tougher measures against China and its ruling party. He has accused the nation of currency manipulation and outsourcing American manufacturing jobs.[47][51]


In March 2012, Hay House published Ryan's A Mindful Nation,[52] a book about the practice of mindfulness in both private and public life. He writes in his introduction:

If more citizens can reduce stress and increase performance—even if only by a little—they will be healthier and more resilient. They will be better equipped to face the challenges of daily life, and to arrive at creative solutions to the challenges facing our nation.

In October 2014, the same publisher published Ryan's The Real Food Revolution.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 2013, Ryan married Andrea Zetts, his second wife;[53] they have lived in Howland Township near Warren, Ohio, since that year,[53][54] with Zetts's two children from a previous relationship[54] and the couple's son together.[55]

Ryan is a Roman Catholic.[56][57] Ryan described himself as a pro-life Catholic when first running for Congress in 2002, but by 2015 he shifted his stance towards pro-choice, arguing that "no federal or state law banning abortion can honestly and fairly take into account the various circumstances that make each decision unique".[58] Ryan spent 12 years in Catholic schools such as the John F. Kennedy Catholic School and named Catholic social teaching as a major influence on his life and political thought. He also emphasized the religiosity of his family, crediting his "devout grandfather, other churchgoing relatives, social-justice-minded religious sisters" as his inspiration. Ryan also expressed his deep respect for Pope Francis, writing: "I'm on the Pope Francis Twitter feed and I make sure I'm always staying connected to what he's saying on public issues".[57] Ryan styled himself as a "Roosevelt-style Catholic Democrat" while campaigning, emphasising both his working-class background and Irish-Italian Catholic roots, and is seen by political pundits as a "more traditional Catholic willing to swim in traditional political waters".[57]

Electoral history[edit]

Ryan:      45–50%      55–60%
Hagan:      45–50%      55–60%
Ohio's 17th congressional district: Results 2002–2010[59]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Other Party Votes Pct
2002 Timothy J. Ryan 94,441 51% Ann Womer Benjamin 62,188 34% James A. Traficant, Jr. Independent 28,045 15%
2004 Timothy J. Ryan 212,800 77% Frank V. Cusimano 62,871 23%
2006 Timothy J. Ryan 170,369 80% Don Manning II 41,925 20%
2008 Timothy J. Ryan 217,556[60] 78% Duane Grassell[61] 60,760[60] 22%
2010 Timothy J. Ryan 102,758[62] 54% Jim Graham 57,352[62] 30% James A. Traficant, Jr. Independent 30,556[62] 16%
Ohio's 13th congressional district: Results 2012–2020[59]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2012 Timothy J. Ryan 227,076 72% Marisha Agana 86,269 28%
2014 Timothy J. Ryan 120,230 69% Thomas Pekarek 55,233 31%
2016 Timothy J. Ryan 208,610 68% Richard Morckel 99,377 32%
2018 Timothy J. Ryan 149,271 61% Chris DePizzo 96,225 39%
2020 Timothy J. Ryan 173,631 53% Christina Hagan 148,648 45%
U.S. Senate
Year Republican Votes Pct Democrat Votes Pct
2022 J. D. Vance 2,192,114 53% Timothy J. Ryan 1,939,489 47%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Democratic U.S. Representative Ryan of Ohio ends presidential bid". Reuters. October 24, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Democrat Tim Ryan wins reelection to U.S. House in Ohio's 13th Congressional District". Associated Press. November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  3. ^ Carr Smyth, Julie (November 8, 2022). "Trump-backed JD Vance retains GOP's US Senate seat in Ohio". Associated Press. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  4. ^ "Timothy John Ryan (b. 1973)". Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Simonich, Milan (November 11, 2002). "Newsmaker: Tim Ryan / His win ends Traficant era in troubled Ohio district". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  6. ^ "Biography of Tim Ryan". Timryan.house.gov. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  7. ^ [1] Archived July 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Dubail, Jean (April 19, 2008). "Congressman Tim Ryan endorses Clinton". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Congressional Votes on (US) Telemarketing Rule – Telemarketing Scum Page". Scn.org. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "Tim Ryan: Why I changed my thinking on abortion". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on December 27, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  11. ^ Miller, Emily (October 1, 2010). "Democrat Tim Ryan: Raise Taxes on Small Businesses". Human Events. Archived from the original on October 3, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  12. ^ Hagen, Lisa; Railey, Kimberly (January 18, 2015). "The Congressional Tease Caucus: 9 Members Who Think (but Never Act) on Running for Higher Office". National Journal. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Rep. Tim Ryan announces challenge to Pelosi". CNN. November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Pelosi promises more influence for junior Democrats". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Kane, Paul; O’Keefe, Ed (November 30, 2016). "Nancy Pelosi beats back challenge, is chosen as House Democratic leader". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  16. ^ Richman, Jackson (April 5, 2019). "Record at a glance: Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan supports Israeli self-defense, though favors Iran deal". Jewish News Syndicate.
  17. ^ a b c d e Karadsheh, Jomana; Khadder, Kareem (February 8, 2018). "'Pillar of the community' deported from US to a land he barely knows". CNN. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Campbell, Barbara (January 11, 2021). "2 Capitol Police Officers Suspended For Actions During Rioters' Attack On Capitol". NPR. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  19. ^ Spocchia, Gino (May 20, 2021). "Democrat angrily chastises GOP for blocking Capitol riot commission". The Independent. Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  20. ^ "Tim Ryan, Representative for Ohio's 13th Congressional District". GovTrack.us. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  21. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Members". United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "Members". August 19, 2021.
  26. ^ "STATEMENT OF CANDIDACY" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  27. ^ "TIM RYAN FOR AMERICA". Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  28. ^ O'Reilly, Andrew (February 6, 2019). "Rep. Tim Ryan, who once challenged Pelosi, mulling 2020 presidential bid". Fox News. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  29. ^ Gomez, Henry J. (February 8, 2019). "Rep. Tim Ryan Is Heading To Iowa And New Hampshire As He Considers Running For President". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  30. ^ Taylor, Jessica (April 4, 2019). "Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Joins 2020 Race With A Populist Pitch To Blue-Collar Voters". NPR. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  31. ^ Sullivan, Sean; Wagner, John (April 4, 2019). "Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio joins Democratic presidential race". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  32. ^ "Ohio congressman Tim Ryan joins crowded field seeking Democrat nomination". The Denver Channel. April 4, 2019.
  33. ^ Smith, Allan (October 24, 2019). "Tim Ryan drops out of presidential race". NBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  34. ^ Merica, Dan (October 24, 2019). "Tim Ryan ends 2020 presidential campaign". CNN. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  35. ^ Everett, Burgess; Arkin, James (January 25, 2021). "Portman's exit signals uncertainty for Senate GOP". Politico. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  36. ^ "FEC Form 2 for Report FEC-1514386". docquery.fec.gov. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Ryan launches run for Senate". KELO-AM. April 26, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  38. ^ Shivaram, Deepa (May 3, 2022). "Rep. Tim Ryan wins Democratic Senate primary in Ohio, the AP says". NPR.
  39. ^ Tobias, Andrew J. (September 23, 2022). "New J.D. Vance ad targets Tim Ryan's support among Republican and independent voters". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  40. ^ Fahlberg, Audrey; Prude, Harvest (September 23, 2022). "Tim Ryan's Fox News Campaign Strategy". The Dispatch. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  41. ^ Merica, Dan (September 19, 2022). "Trump looks to thwart Tim Ryan's courtship of Republican voters in Ohio". CNN. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  42. ^ Dorman, John L. "Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan waves off support from AOC in his Ohio Senate bid: 'It's not a helpful endorsement here'". Business Insider. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  43. ^ Yam, Kimmy (April 1, 2022). "Asian Americans call out Rep. Tim Ryan for airing ad that's 'rife with Sinophobia'". NBC News.
  44. ^ "Facing criticism, Tim Ryan defends anti-China ad in Ohio Senate race". Roll Call. April 4, 2022.
  45. ^ Yam, Kimmy (April 1, 2022). "Asian Americans call out Rep. Tim Ryan for airing ad that's 'rife with Sinophobia'". NBC News.
  46. ^ "Ohio U.S. Senate Election Results". The New York Times. November 8, 2022. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  47. ^ a b c Hicks, Kathleen (2018). Beyond the Water's Edge: Measuring the Internationalism of Congress. Center for Strategic & International Studies. pp. 126–127. ISBN 9781442280885. Since entering Congress in 2003, Ryan has established a strong reputation as a defender of the working class and an ardent opponent of the Bush and Obama administration trade agendas. Ryan voted against all of the major trade liberalization deals included in this study from 2006-2016... In particular, Ryan has often criticized what he views as unfair trade practices adopted by China and has introduced legislation to counter Chinese currency manipulation.
  48. ^ a b Francia, Peter (2006). The Future of Organized Labor in American Politics. Columbia University Press. pp. 33, 149. ISBN 9780231130707.
  49. ^ Douglas, Michael (November 14, 2021). "On issue of income equality, Tim Ryan believes Democrats can help workers catch up". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  50. ^ Ecarma, Caleb (July 13, 2022). "Tim Ryan Is Throwing Out the Democratic Playbook in Ohio". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  51. ^ Jackson, Herb (April 4, 2022). "Facing criticism, Tim Ryan defends anti-China ad in Ohio Senate race". Roll Call. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  52. ^ "A Mindful Nation by Tim Ryan". HayHouse.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  53. ^ a b Eaton, Sabrina (April 22, 2013). "Rep. Tim Ryan marries Andrea Zetts of Struthers". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  54. ^ a b Eaton, Sabrina (May 22, 2013). "Rep. Tim Ryan and new wife purchase spacious home in Howland Township". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  55. ^ Kurtz, Judy (June 13, 2014). "Baby Brady arrives at Tim Ryan's household". The Hill. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  56. ^ Heipel, Edie (November 22, 2022). "Democrat Tim Ryan calls for some abortion limits as Ohio Senate race tightens". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  57. ^ a b c Fraga, Brian (October 26, 2022). "JD Vance and Tim Ryan, two very different Catholics, vie for power in Ohio". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  58. ^ "Tim Ryan: Why I changed my thinking on abortion". Akron Beacon Journal. January 28, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  59. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2008.
  60. ^ a b "CANVASS OF VOTES - NOVEMBER 4, 2008 GENERAL ELECTION" (PDF). ohiosos.gov. December 11, 2008.
  61. ^ "Duane Grassell's Biography – The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  62. ^ a b c "REPRESENTATIVE TO CONGRESS - NOVEMBER 2, 2010 - Amended Official Results". ohiosos.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2024.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 17th congressional district

Constituency abolished
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Ohio
(Class 3)

Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative