SPONSORED:

Rep. Tim Ryan announces presidential run

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanBusinessman Mike Gibbons jumps into GOP Senate race in Ohio Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (D-Ohio) is launching a presidential bid, joining an already crowded primary field to take on President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE in 2020.

An outspoken moderate in the House who once challenged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden angers Democrats by keeping Trump-era refugee cap Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 MORE (D-Calif.) in a leadership race, Ryan is jumping into a nominating contest dominated by high-profile candidates angling their appeals toward the party’s progressive flank.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Tim is an independent, no-nonsense congressman from Ohio fighting to rebuild our economy by investing in American workers,” says his campaign website, which was launched Thursday.

“A lifelong Rust Belt native, Tim understands that the American Dream is falling too far out of reach. That’s why he’s focused on restoring stability to our fractured communities by rebuilding our economy to work for all Americans.”

As he built up to his announcement during an interview on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday, Ryan recounted how his father-in-law was laid off from Youngstown Sheet and Tube in the late 1970s and, later, how jobs at a local factory in Ohio were off-shored to China.

Ryan said he made the decision to run for president when his daughter recently told him that her friend’s father, who worked at a General Motors plant, was being transferred.

“She said, ‘You gotta do something,’ and I said, ‘I’m going to do something and I’m going to run for president of the United States,’” Ryan said.

Ryan has had a focus on manufacturing in his nine terms in the House, and has offered legislation seeking to change U.S. trade policy in response to actions by China and other trading partners.

President Trump carried states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, tearing down the so-called blue wall that Democrats have long relied on in the region.

In jumping into the Democratic nominating contest, Ryan is betting that his credentials as a moderate from Ohio will help him appeal to centrist, working-class voters in the Midwestern states that Democrats are eager to win back in 2020.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE won Ryan’s northeastern Ohio district in 2016. But Trumbull County, which makes up a large swath of the state’s 13th Congressional District, swung hard for Trump that same year, despite former President Obama’s 22-point win there in 2012.

Ryan won reelection easily last year, scoring a 22-point victory over Republican Chris DePizzo and outperforming Clinton in his district. Even though that race was not considered competitive, Ryan still managed to rake in a sizable $1.6 million for his campaign.

Ryan’s announcement came almost a month after another Ohio Democrat, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Big bank CEOS to testify before Congress in May Democrats get good news from IRS MORE, said he would not jump into the 2020 contest after months of speculation that he was preparing for a campaign.

Like Ryan, Brown won reelection last year, despite a handful of Republican victories statewide.

Ohio, a perennial battleground state, has appeared to move further into the GOP’s corner in recent years. Trump won the state in 2016 by 8 points, and just last year, Republican Mike DeWine defeated Democrat Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayWill the Biden CFPB clamp down on innovation and regulatory sandboxes? Biden picks for financial agencies offer preview of regulatory agenda Biden's Wall Street watchdog picks to offer clues on regulations MORE by nearly 4 points in the governor’s race there.

After Trump’s victory in the state in 2016, Ryan mounted an unsuccessful bid against then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead the Democrats in the House, arguing that the party needed new leadership that would do more to court the working-class voters.

Ryan is the latest candidate to jump into an already-crowded primary field that includes Democratic heavyweights and rising stars, like former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisOddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election Passing the Clean School Bus Act can help protect our children's health and our planet The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal after pushback MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota: Biden has not fulfilled campaign promise of combating union-busting tactics Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Progressives put Democrats on defense MORE (I-Vt.).

The Ohio Democrat’s entrance into the race makes him the 17th candidate to do so.

In announcing his presidential campaign, Ryan becomes the second sitting House member to mount a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, after Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardNew co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Tulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 MORE (D-Hawaii.).

Two other House members, Reps. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellPersonal security costs for anti-Trump lawmakers spiked post-riot Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting Meghan McCain calls on Gaetz to resign MORE (D-Calif.) and Seth MoultonSeth MoultonOvernight Defense: Iran talks set up balancing act for Biden | Pentagon on alert amid Russian saber rattling | Lawmakers urge Pentagon to be pickier about commanders' requests for more troops Is it okay to waste infrastructure dollars? Lawmakers want Pentagon, DOJ to punish current, former military members who participated in riot MORE (D-Mass.), are said to be weighing 2020 bids as well, and have made numerous trips to early primary and caucus states in recent months.

At the same time, two former congressmen, O’Rourke and John DelaneyJohn DelaneyLobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings MORE (D-Md.), are also vying for the 2020 nomination.

It’s unclear if Ryan will step down from his House seat now that he’s entered the presidential contest. Swalwell has said he would resign from the chamber if he chooses to jump into the race.

--Updated at 12:32 p.m.