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Tim Ryan Encouraged to Run for Ohio Governor

Pelosi challenger navigates his political future

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media at the Capitol after losing the Democratic leadership race to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media at the Capitol after losing the Democratic leadership race to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Nov. 30. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tim Ryan’s phone is ringing — and on the other end are people urging the Ohio Democrat who defied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her team to come home and run for governor.

Ryan said Thursday he’ll be spending the holidays mulling his options.

“I feel like I have a lot to offer,” Ryan said. “Just in what capacity that is, if it’s down here continuing to be part of the caucus, use the microphone to speak out on issues that I really care about, that I think are important, and try to help the party with strategically thinking about how we move forward on some of these things, I think I can be helpful there. So, what fashion that happens in I don’t know right now.”

If he ran, Ryan would be vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich, who waged an unsuccessful campaign against Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primaries.

Ryan challenged Pelosi for her leadership post last month, catalyzing House Democratic frustrations over sweeping loses on Election Day. While Pelosi beat back the challenge, Ryan garnered a third of the caucus’ votes.

During the race, a senior Democratic aide suggested Ryan’s challenge was a ploy for attention ahead of a gubernatorial bid in 2018. Ryan stressed the need for a unified economic message and promoted his ability to connect with voters in working-class areas that President-elect Donald Trump carried.

[Pelosi Withstands Challenge to Remain House Democratic Leader]

Ryan said the outlook for the next two years politically is “uncharted waters” with Trump in the White House, and a GOP-controlled House and Senate.

How voters will perceive unified Republican control, whether that will result in more productive government and whether the economy will improve will all factor in Ryan’s decision, he said.

“Some things you can’t shake, some things you can,” Ryan said. “You try to shake as much as you can and hope you got a little wind at your back — a little Irish luck.”

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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