Ryan officially files for U.S. Senate bid

By: - February 1, 2022 3:40 am

Tim Ryan filing his declaration of candidacy for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Nick Evans, OCJ)

Democratic Ohio U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan visited Columbus Monday to drop off paperwork for his U.S. Senate bid.  He’s the third major candidate to submit petitions after Republicans J.D. Vance and Jane Timken. Most of the remaining candidates are set to turn in their paperwork in the next few days.

Ryan’s team brought out a small pack of supporters to fill the lobby of the secretary of state’s office. Representatives from the building trades council, electricians and sheet metal workers crowded in alongside backers holding signs.

“We’re excited, very pumped up about the race,” Ryan said. “We’ve got signatures here from all 88 counties. We’ve been running a grassroots campaign throughout the state. No community left behind.”

Ohio’s Senate race gained national attention last week after Ryan’s opponent for the Democratic nomination, Morgan Harper, debated Republican Josh Mandel. The former Ohio treasurer has gleefully staked out positions calibrated to appeal to Trump voters. Among them, Mandel asserted the 2020 election was stolen and despite the First Amendment, insisted there’s no such thing as a separation between church and state.

Turning to the Democratic field, Mandel criticized Ryan for declining to debate Harper yet, calling him a “wimp” and suggesting Ryan would’ve debated Harper already if she were a white man. He attempted to portray it as an example of the Democratic Party writ large taking Black voters for granted.

Ryan didn’t watch the debate — too busy catching up on Ozark with his wife, he said. And he declined to respond to Mandel’s comments, at least not directly, while insisting he plans to debate Harper.

“We’re going to have a debate and we respect all the candidates,” Ryan said. “It’s not easy to get on the ballot and go out and run and put yourself up and your family to the scrutiny. We respect everybody. And that’s why we’ll have a debate, and then we’ll have some debates coming up in the general as well.”



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Nick Evans
Nick Evans

Nick Evans has spent the past seven years reporting for NPR member stations in Florida and Ohio. He got his start in Tallahassee, covering issues like redistricting, same sex marriage and medical marijuana. Since arriving in Columbus in 2018, he has covered everything from city council to football. His work on Ohio politics and local policing have been featured numerous times on NPR.