Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2002, 6th term.

Born: July 16, 1973, Niles

Home: Niles

Education: Bowling Green St. U., B.A. 1995, Franklin Pierce Law Ctr., J.D. 2000

Professional Career: Aide, U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant, 1995-97.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Andrea)

Tim Ryan, a Democrat elected in 2002 at age 29, is a pro-union, anti-abortion centrist. That combination has propelled other Ohioans to higher office, and Ryan is considered likely to attempt to go that route in the future.

Ryan grew up in Niles, was a star quarterback before a knee injury ended his career, and graduated from Bowling Green State University. His first job was with 17th District Rep. James Traficant, a Democrat later convicted of racketeering and bribery. In 2000, after graduating from Franklin Pierce Law Center, Ryan was elected to the state Senate. His opening to run for Congress came when Traficant was forced to resign in disgrace after his conviction in 2002. For years, Traficant had been a colorful if coarse figure in the House, whose ranting orations (“Beam me up, Scotty” was his expression of incredulity at hearing an opposing viewpoint) were a regular source of fascination for C-SPAN viewers.

Most 17th District insiders thought Akron-based Rep. Tom Sawyer, a Democrat who had been thrown into the district by reapportionment after the 2000 census, had the inside track to succeed Traficant. And by standard measures, Sawyer should have won easily: He outspent Ryan nearly 6-to-1. But his record on issues gave Ryan an opening. Sawyer had voted for the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, and he was one of the few Rust Belt Democrats to vote for normalizing trade relations with China. Ryan hammered on these votes in the Mahoning Valley, where it is gospel that free trade drove the region’s high-paying jobs abroad. Ryan also got the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in a district with many hunters. He beat Sawyer 41%-27%.

The Republican nominee was state Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin. Ryan slammed her and the Ohio Republican Legislature for votes that had led to higher tuition at state universities. Republicans fired back with ads highlighting several disorderly conduct charges lodged against Ryan while he was in college. The district’s Democratic leanings and Ryan’s labor support proved decisive. He won 51% of the vote to 34% for Womer Benjamin and 15% for Traficant, who ran as an independent even though he’d been carted off to jail.

Ryan has leaned to the left on economic and foreign policy, while his splits with Democrats on abortion rights and gun control have placed him closer to the center on social issues. After the deadly school massacre in Newtown, Conn., he held meetings with gun enthusiasts and law enforcement officials to try to “thread the needle” on a solution to gun violence. With abortion-rights advocate Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., he sponsored the “Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act,” with federal dollars to fight teen pregnancy and increased aid for women who become pregnant; Democratic activists depicted this as a move toward party consensus on a difficult issue. He also refused to join most Republicans in 2011 in voting to defund Planned Parenthood.

Worried about the loss of local call-center jobs, Ryan was one of just seven House members who voted against the national do-not-call list. For several years, he sponsored the Chinese Currency Act, which sought to counter China’s alleged manipulation and undervaluation of its currency.

He was a vocal backer of the powerful Pennsylvania Democrat John Murtha in his unsuccessful bid against Maryland’s Steny Hoyer for majority leader in 2006, which endeared him to Murtha-backer Nancy Pelosi, the rising House speaker, and earned Ryan a coveted seat on the House Appropriations Committee. He immediately went to work securing earmarked projects for his hard-pressed district, including more than $26 million in 2007 alone. He lost his seat on the panel when Republicans took majority control in 2011, but regained it two years later.

Much of the recent attention Ryan has drawn has stemmed not from legislation, but from meditation. He attended a five-day retreat after the 2008 election, turning off his two BlackBerrys and gradually reducing how often he talked until he maintained a 36-hour period of silence. “My mind and body were in the same place at the same time, synchronized in a way I had rarely experienced,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal. He wrote a book in 2012, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit, and he now spends 45 minutes a day practicing “mindfulness”— something he says stressed-out Washingtonians and corporate executives should try. But Ryan also drew unwanted attention in 2012 when he was arrested in August for public intoxication in Virginia. The charges were later dismissed.

Ryan has not faced serious reelection problems. He considered a run for the Senate in 2006 but decided against it. Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland discussed a shared ticket with Ryan in 2010, but Ryan decided to remain in the House, largely because of his new assignment on Appropriations. He took a serious look at running for governor in 2014 after Strickland said that he wouldn’t run again, but announced in March 2013 that the risk still wasn’t worth giving up his Appropriations seat.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5261

(202) 225-3719

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1421
Washington, DC 20515-3513

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5261

(202) 225-3719

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1421
Washington, DC 20515-3513

DISTRICT OFFICE

(800) 856-4152

(330) 373-0098

Mahoning Building
Warren, OH 44481-1024

DISTRICT OFFICE

(800) 856-4152

(330) 373-0098

Mahoning Building
Warren, OH 44481-1024

DISTRICT OFFICE

(330) 740-0193

(330) 740-0182

241 West Federal Street
Youngstown, OH 44503-1207

DISTRICT OFFICE

(330) 740-0193

(330) 740-0182

241 West Federal Street
Youngstown, OH 44503-1207

DISTRICT OFFICE

(330) 630-7311

(330) 630-7314

1030 East Tallmadge Avenue
Akron, OH 44310-3563

DISTRICT OFFICE

(330) 630-7311

(330) 630-7314

1030 East Tallmadge Avenue
Akron, OH 44310-3563

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

337 Vienna Avenue Unit 1
Niles, OH 44446

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(330) 652-6900

(330) 652-6901

337 Vienna Avenue Unit 1
Niles, OH 44446

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Animal Rights

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Appropriations

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Arts

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Budget

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Campaign

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Commerce

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Consumers

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Crime

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Disaster

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Economics

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Education

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Energy

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Entertainment

Michael Zetts
Press Secretary

Environment

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Family

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Finance

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Foreign

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Grants

Michael Zetts
Press Secretary

Gun Issues

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Health

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Housing

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Human Rights

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Immigration

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Intelligence

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Internet

Michael Zetts
Press Secretary

Judiciary

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Labor

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Medicare

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Military

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Science

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Seniors

Ryan Keating
Deputy Chief of Staff; Senior Advisor

Tax

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Technology

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Telecommunications

Samantha Fay
Legislative Aide

Trade

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Transportation

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Veterans

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Welfare

Anne Sokolov
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Tim Ryan
Votes: 235,492
Percent: 72.77%
Marisha Agana
Votes: 88,120
Percent: 27.23%
2012 PRIMARY
Tim Ryan
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Tim Ryan
Votes: 102,758
Percent: 53.89%
Jim Graham
Votes: 57,352
Percent: 30.08%
James Traficant
Votes: 30,556
Percent: 16.03%
2010 PRIMARY
Tim Ryan
Votes: 48,750
Percent: 78.75%
Dan Moadus
Votes: 7,520
Percent: 12.15%
Robert Crow
Votes: 5,638
Percent: 9.11%
2008 GENERAL
Tim Ryan
Votes: 218,896
Percent: 78.15%
Duane Grassell
Votes: 61,216
Percent: 21.85%
2008 PRIMARY
Tim Ryan
Votes: 138,610
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (54%), 2008 (78%), 2006 (80%), 2004 (77%), 2002 (51%)

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