After months of flirting with the idea, Rep. Tim Ryan told Ohio Democrats he would not be entering the race to succeed term-limited Governor John Kasich:
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Tim Ryan, whose national profile has risen in recent months, announced Tuesday that he will not be a candidate for Ohio governor in 2018.
The eight-term congressman wrestled with a run for months, weighing the risk of jumping into a potentially crowded and unpredictable primary against sticking with a safe House seat.
“Constituents in my district are at the forefront of an economic transformation that has hollowed out our nation’s middle class,” Ryan said in a statement emailed after word about his decision first trickled out to cleveland.com. “As I’ve considered how best to address these challenges, the more I’ve appreciated how much they are national issues that require national solutions.
“That is why, while I have been truly humbled by the encouragement I’ve received to run for Governor of Ohio, I believe the best way to serve my community, my state and my country is to remain in the United States Congress.
Ryan’s decision was made easier by the plum committee assignments he maintained despite his unsuccessful bid to unseat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last fall. In his Tuesday statement, he asserted that spots on the Appropriations Committee and Defense Subcommittee will help him “fight back against wrong-headed policies and champion the kinds of solutions that would have a real impact for American families.”
With Ryan’s decision to not enter the race, the Democratic field is wide open. According to cleveland.com’s Henry Gomez, the potential field of candidates includes:
- Ohio Senate minority leader Joe Schiavoni
- Former Rep. Betty Sutton
- Former Rep. Connie Pillich
- Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley
- Former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams
- Former Sen. Nina Turner
- Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich
- CFPB Director Richard Cordray
While the race for an open governor’s mansion in Columbus is ongoing, at the same time Sen. Sherrod Brown will be running for reelection in the same cycle. Depending on the political climate in 18 months from now, that could be a boost for Democrats up and down the Ohio ballot.