Timothy John Ryan (born July 16, 1973) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative
for since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party
, he entered Congress in 2003, representing Ohio's 17th congressional district
until redistricting. Ryan's district currently takes in a large swath of northeastern Ohio, from Youngstown
Born in Niles
, Ryan worked as an aide to U.S. Representative Jim Traficant
after graduating from Bowling Green State University
. 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 a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination
before ending his campaign on October 24, 2019, to run for reelection. On November 3, 2020, the Associated Press
called the district's election results in favor of Ryan.
After U.S. Senator Rob Portman
announced on January 25, 2021, that he would not seek reelection in 2022
, Ryan said he was considering running to replace him.
Early life and career
Ryan was born in Niles, Ohio
, the son of Rochelle Maria (Rizzi) and Allen Leroy Ryan; he is of Irish and Italian ancestry. Ryan's parents divorced when he was seven years old, and Ryan was raised by his mother.
Ryan graduated from John F. Kennedy High School
, 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
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
In 2000, Ryan earned a Juris Doctor
degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center
in Concord, New Hampshire
. From 2000 to 2002 he served half a term in the Ohio State Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
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.
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, 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 a redistricting in 2012, he has served five terms as U.S. Representative for the 13th district.
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 FTC's establishment of a National Do Not Call Registry
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 others. In September 2006 he gave an equally heated speech accusing the Bush administration of trying to distract the public from key issues, such as the war in Iraq and the economy.
Around 2006, Ryan was a member of the "30 Something" Working Group
, a House caucus
for Democrats under age 40. It was organized by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
to energize and engage younger people in politics by focusing on issues important to them.
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 bout whether to end a pregnancy
over his time in public office, he had reversed his position on abortion and now identified as pro-choice
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".
Ryan initiated a bid to replace Pelosi as House Minority Leader
on November 17, 2016, prompted by colleagues after the 2016 presidential election
. After Pelosi agreed to give more leadership opportunities to junior members, she defeated Ryan by a vote of 134–63 on November 30.
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."
Around 2018, Ryan helped Adi Othman, an illegal immigrant in Youngstown, Ohio, remain in the United States.
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.
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.
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 illegal immigrants.
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."
Ryan is the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch
, which is investigating the 2021 storming of the US Capitol
* Committee on Appropriations
**Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch
**Subcommittee on Defense
**Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
* Co-chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus
* Co-chair of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus
* United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
* Sportsmen's Caucus
* Congressional Arts Caucus
* Ohio River Basin Congressional Caucus
* Afterschool Caucuses
*Medicare for All Caucus
*Blue Collar Caucus
2020 presidential campaign
After the 2018 midterms, Ryan was seen as a possible candidate for the 2020 presidential election
. In February and March 2019, he traveled to early primary states such as Iowa
and New Hampshire
. Ryan's 2020 presidential campaign officially began on April 4, 2019, when he announced his candidacy in the Democratic primaries
. He also announced that he would seek the nomination on ''The View
''. 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.
In March 2012, Hay House
published Ryan's ''A Mindful Nation'',
a book about the practice of mindfulness
in both private and public life. He writes in his introduction: In October 2014, the same publisher published Ryan's ''The Real Food Revolution''.
In 2013, Ryan married Andrea Zetts, his second wife;
[ they have lived in Howland Township near Warren, Ohio, since that year.] In 2014, they had a son, Brady. Ryan also lives with Zetts's two children from a previous relationship.
* United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio, 2008#District 17
* United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio, 2010#District 17
* United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio, 2012#District 13
* List of United States Representatives from Ohio
* 30 Something Working Group
Congressman Tim Ryan
official U.S. House website
Tim Ryan for Congress
Category:21st-century American politicians
Category:American people of Irish descent
Category:American people of Italian descent
Category:Bowling Green State University alumni
Category:Candidates in the 2020 United States presidential election
Category:Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives
Category:Members of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio
Category:Ohio state senators
Category:People from Niles, Ohio
Category:People from Warren, Ohio
Category:University of New Hampshire School of Law alumni
Category:Youngstown State University alumni