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Tim Ryan (politician)

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Tim Ryan
Rep. Tim Ryan Congressional Head Shot 2010.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by James Traficant
Constituency 17th district (2003–13)
13th district (2013–present)
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
January 3, 2001 – December 19, 2002
Preceded by Anthony Latell
Succeeded by Marc Dann
Personal details
Born Timothy John Ryan
(1973-07-16) July 16, 1973 (age 45)
Niles, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Andrea Zetts (m. 2013)
Children 1
Education Youngstown State University
Bowling Green State University (BA)
University of New Hampshire (JD)

Timothy John Ryan (born July 16, 1973) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district, elected in 2002. The district, numbered as the 17th district from 2003 to 2013, takes in a large swath of northeast Ohio, from Youngstown to Akron. Ryan is a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in Niles, Ohio, Ryan worked as an aide to Congressman Jim Traficant after graduating from Bowling Green State University. He served in the Ohio Senate from 2001 to 2002 before winning election to succeed Traficant. In November 2016, Ryan launched an unsuccessful challenge to unseat Nancy Pelosi as party leader of the House Democrats.

Early life and career[edit]

Ryan was born in Niles, Ohio, the son of Rochelle Maria (Rizzi) and Allen Leroy Ryan.[1] He is of Irish and Italian ancestry. Ryan's parents divorced when he was seven years old, and Ryan was raised by his mother.[2] Ryan graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, where he played football as a quarterback and coached junior high basketball. Ryan 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.[2] He 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, Ryan joined the staff of Ohio Congressman Jim Traficant.[2] In 2000, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire.[3] From 2000 to 2002 he served half a term in the Ohio State Senate.[2]

United States Representative[edit]


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 to the west and now 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 the year 2000 redistricting; 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.[2]

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. He won with 51 percent of the vote, besting Benjamin by a solid 14-point margin. When he took office in January 2003, he was the youngest Democrat in the House, at 29 years of age. He has been reelected five times,[4][5] only once facing another contest nearly as close as his first one. In 2010, he was held to 53 percent of the vote; Traficant, running as an independent, took 16 percent of the vote. In every other election since his first run for the district, Ryan has won at least 67 percent of the vote.

His district was renumbered as the 13th in 2012, and was pushed westward, absorbing most of Akron.


Congressman Tim Ryan talks about Making America Competitive Again and Restoring U.S. Innovation Leadership
Ryan speaking at a rally for Hillary Clinton, October 2016

In his first year in office, Ryan was one of seven members of Congress who voted against the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act, and one of 8 Congressmen who opposed ratification of FTC's establishment of a National Do Not Call Registry.[6]

Ryan was a member of the "30 Something" Working Group,[7] which is a Congressional caucus that includes those members of the United States House of Representatives who are Democrats and have not yet reached the age of 40. It was organized by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to energize and engage younger people in politics by focusing on issues that are important to them.[8]

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.[9]

Before the 2004 presidential election, Ryan spoke on the House floor in an impassioned speech denouncing the Bush administration's denial of a draft reinstatement, comparing this to the administration's previous claims that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction, the Bush tax cuts would create jobs, and other such claims.[10] He repeated in September 2006 with an equally-heated speech criticizing what he felt to be the Bush administration's tendency to distract the public from key issues like the war in Iraq and the economy.[11]

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".[12][13]

Ryan initiated a bid to replace Pelosi as House Minority Leader on November 17, 2016, prompted by colleagues following the 2016 presidential election.[14] After Pelosi agreed to give more leadership opportunities to junior members,[15] she defeated Ryan by a vote of 134–63 on November 30.[16]

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 which affected his legal status); the fact that the bill was in motion meant that Othman could temporarily stay.[17] However, in February 2018, Othman was deported from the United States after Trump emboldened ICE to crack down on 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]

Committees and caucuses[edit]

Ryan is a member of the following committees:

Ryan is a member of the following caucuses:


In March 2012, Hay House published Ryan's A Mindful Nation,[21] 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.

Personal life[edit]

In 2013, Ryan married Andrea Zetts, a school teacher.[22] In 2014, Ryan and Zetts had a son, Brady.[23] Ryan also lives with Zetts' two children from a previous relationship.[24]

Electoral history[edit]

Ohio's 17th congressional district: Results 2002–2010[25]
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 204,028 78% Duane Grassell[26] 56,003 22%[27]
2010 Timothy J. Ryan 102,758 53.89% Jim Graham 57,352 30.08% James A. Traficant, Jr. Independent 30,556 16.03%
Ohio's 13th congressional district: Results 2012–2016[25]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2012 Timothy J. Ryan 227,076 72.47% Marisha Agana 86,269 27.53%
2014 Timothy J. Ryan 120,230 68.49% Thomas Pekarek 55,233 31.46%
2016 Timothy J. Ryan 208,610 67.7% Richard Morckel 99,377 32.3%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Timothy John Ryan (b. 1973)". Archived from the original on October 16, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Biography of Tim Ryan". Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  4. ^ [1] Archived July 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Jean Dubail (April 19, 2008). "Congressman Tim Ryan endorses Clinton |". Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Congressional Votes on (US) Telemarketing Rule – Telemarketing Scum Page". Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ [2] Archived June 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "30 Something Working Group". Nancy Pelosi Page. Congress. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Tim Ryan: Why I changed my thinking on abortion". Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Democrat Tim Ryan kicks Bush's ass". YouTube. August 25, 2006. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Tim Ryan Blasts the Bush Admin on Iraq war". YouTube. February 4, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ Miller, Emily (October 1, 2010). "Democrat Tim Ryan: Raise Taxes on Small Businesses". Human Events. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Rep. Tim Ryan announces challenge to Pelosi". CNN. November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Pelosi promises more influence for junior Democrats". U.S. News. Associated Press. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Nancy Pelosi beats back challenge, is chosen as House Democratic leader". Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c d e CNN, Jomana Karadsheh and Kareem Khadder,. "'Pillar of the community' deported from US to a land he barely knows". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  18. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 5 August 2018. 
  19. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 23 March 2018. 
  20. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 17 April 2018. 
  21. ^ "A Mindful Nation by Tim Ryan". Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  22. ^ Eaton, Sabrina (April 22, 2013). "Rep. Tim Ryan marries Andrea Zetts of Struthers". Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ Kurtz, Judy (June 13, 2014). "Baby Brady arrives at Tim Ryan's household". The Hill. Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  24. ^ Eaton, Sabrina (May 22, 2013). "Rep. Tim Ryan and new wife purchase spacious home in Howland Township". Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  25. ^ 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. 
  26. ^ "Duane Grassell's Biography – The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved December 26, 2015. 
  27. ^ [3][dead link]

External links[edit]

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

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

Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dutch Ruppersberger
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Linda Sánchez