WARREN, Ohio — The Ohio AFL-CIO, a labor union representing more than 1 million Ohio workers and retirees, announced Tuesday it is endorsing Congressman Tim Ryan’s bid for U.S. Senate.
Ryan, who currently represents northeast Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, is the lone Democrat in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
“Tim has spent his career fighting for working people in Ohio and we know he will continue that work in the Senate,” Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga said in a statement to Spectrum News. “It is a common sight to see Tim Ryan at a union hall, or at a rally or on a picket line – he is always standing at our side, no matter what the circumstances are.”
Since launching his campaign in late April, Ryan has squarely focused on “cutting workers in on the deal,” a message his team hopes will separate him from a crowded Republican primary field that is trying to out-Trump one another.
To date, Ryan has been endorsed by 10 labor unions and over 200 election officials and political leaders, helping him solidify his frontrunner status for the Democratic nomination, even if other candidates jump in. He raised over $1.2 million in the first quarter of the year.
In a statement to Spectrum News, Ryan said he was honored to receive the Ohio AFL-CIO’s endorsement.
"I’ve always been proud to stand with the working people of this state – from working to raise wages and protect your hard-earned benefits, to speaking out against corporations that try to ship Ohioans’ jobs to other countries, to keeping up the fight to pass the PRO Act,” Ryan said. “As Ohio’s next senator, I’m going to keep fighting like hell to cut our workers in on the deal, because it’s time this country finally puts you first.”
Should he clinch the nomination, Ryan faces an uphill battle running for statewide office in a state former President Donald Trump won twice by eight points.
Two other Democrats, Statehouse Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, have been considering joining the race for Senate.
On the Republican side, five candidates have formally entered the race — Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, Mike Gibbons, Bernie Moreno, and Mark Pukita — J.D. Vance and Matt Dolan have launched exploratory committees, and Dayton-area Rep. Mike Turner is considering.