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Tim Ryan touts labor support in Senate bid

Tim Ryan touts labor support in Senate bid
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Tim Ryan touts labor support in Senate bid Democratic leaders push to boost congressional staff pay MORE (D-Ohio) on Wednesday rolled out endorsements from 10 unions for his Senate campaign, touting his support among labor groups in his effort to flip the open seat currently held by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanStrengthen CBP regulations to reduce opioid deaths House panel advances bipartisan retirement savings bill Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms MORE (R).

Ryan in a press release announced he’d won the backing of a slew of unions, including three chapters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Communication Workers of America District 4; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6; Maritime Engineers Beneficial Association; Ohio State Conference of IBEW; Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters; and two chapters of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. 

“I come from a union family and I’m proud to have spent my life standing with the men and women of organized labor,” Ryan said. “I’m honored to be launching this campaign with the support of unions across Ohio.

“Whether it’s passing the PRO Act or making sure our retirees get the pensions they’ve earned, putting people to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, or making sure Ohioans have the skills they need to compete and win, I’ll never stop fighting to cut our workers in on the deal,” he added, referencing legislation before Congress that would make it easier for workers to unionize.

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The announcement underscores Ryan’s effort to cast himself as the candidate of union groups, touting his blue-collar background and representation of the industrial Youngstown region. The Democrat is betting his support among labor groups could help win over ancestral Democrats who swung hard to former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

“We support Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate because he has a proven record of standing with working families in the Mahoning Valley and across Ohio,” said Joe Rugola, executive director of Ohio Association of Public School Employees. “He’s with us in the halls of Congress and in our union halls, championing strong unions and our right to have a voice on the job and in our communities.” 

Ryan on Monday became the first Democrat to formally jump into the race. Democrats are eager to contest Portman’s open seat in what was once a top swing state, but Ohio has veered toward Republicans in recent cycles.