Rep. Tim Ryan announces presidential run

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate Tim Ryan defends shift to supporting abortion rights MORE (D-Ohio) is launching a presidential bid, joining an already crowded primary field to take on President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE in 2020.

An outspoken moderate in the House who once challenged Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House Pelosi: Congress will receive election security briefing in July Trump says he spoke to Pelosi, McConnell on border package 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.

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“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 Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Ocasio-Cortez on Biden: 'I think that he's not a pragmatic choice' 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 BrownHouse panel to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency project Democrats talk up tax credits to counter Trump law Facebook's new cryptocurrency raises red flags for critics 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 CordrayWatchdog agency must pick a side: Consumers or scammers Kraninger's CFPB gives consumers the tools to help themselves House rebukes Mulvaney's efforts to rein in consumer bureau 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 Devi HarrisPoll: Biden leads Democratic field by 6 points, Warren in second place 2020 Dems say they will visit Homestead facility holding migrant children Warren visits migrant care shelter, says children being marched 'like little prisoners' MORE (D-Calif.) and Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates 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 GabbardPoll: Biden leads Democratic field by 6 points, Warren in second place The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate MORE (D-Hawaii.).

Two other House members, Reps. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell2020 Dems say they will visit Homestead facility holding migrant children Warren visits migrant care shelter, says children being marched 'like little prisoners' Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate MORE (D-Calif.) and Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate Bipartisan House duo unveils amendment to block Iran strike without Congress's approval 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 Kevin Delaney2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate 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.