Rep. Tim Ryan on Tuesday defended the fact that he plans to run for reelection in 2020 as he also mounts a bid for the White House, saying it doesn’t make sense to simply cede the influence he’s won for his Ohio constituents if his presidential bid doesn’t work out.
Mr. Ryan said his eye right now is on the presidential race and that he’s “all in.”
“My area has suffered for 40 years, and they now have a member of Congress who’s gaining seniority on the appropriations committee,” the Ohio Democrat said on MSNBC. “I have brought back hundreds of millions of dollars to my congressional district.”
“But the issues are structural in nature, and the president needs to create an industrial policy to win the future around electric vehicles and solar and bring manufacturing back and lift up the middle class — that’s the most vital office in our democracy,” he said.
He said he thinks someone from an area like his in the position can make a big difference.
“But I’m not going to say that I shouldn’t be bringing back hundreds of millions of more dollars to my community if things don’t work out,” he said. “Let’s try to have the structural change that we need.”
Seeking both offices at once is allowed by Ohio law, though the rules vary state by state.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, another presidential contender, said he doesn’t have to make a decision about a House race until later in the year.
“We need this field to start shrinking so candidates can distinguish themselves,” the California Democrat recently told The Hill. “I hope to be part of the field as it shrinks. If I don’t, I’m going to be realistic about my options.”
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