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Ohio Valley should support Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate

After I graduated from Marietta College in 2015, I embarked on an 18-month journey with former southeastern Ohio Congressman and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland on his U.S. Senate campaign. We traveled more than 70,000 miles together across the Buckeye State, working to earn Ohioans’ votes. We fell short in our efforts, but I learned a great deal along the way. Throughout the campaign, I met a lot of great folks. I met United Mine Workers members from right here in the Ohio Valley, United Auto Workers (UAW) members from Youngstown and Toledo, and union teachers from Toledo and Dayton. I met mayors from small towns like Chillicothe and Athens, and mayors from big cities like Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. I also got to know U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan.

Ryan is a good man. He was one of the few public servants who remembered my name and greeted me in a friendly way every time our paths crossed. Behind the podium, he would talk about the need for folks in Washington to stand up for workers. He was and is a steadfast supporter of unions and the middle class. Working families are better off because Tim Ryan chooses to serve. On April 26, 2021 Congressman Tim Ryan announced he would run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. After playing an integral role on the most recent Democratic nominee’s campaign for this particular Senate seat, I can say there is no one better positioned to run a strong campaign, win, and then effectively serve the people of Ohio than Tim Ryan.

Ryan is not only a good person and talented politician, but he supports policies that will benefit folks from the Ohio Valley. In the Senate, Tim will fight to raise wages, make healthcare more affordable, invest in education, rebuild our public infrastructure including universal broadband, and revitalize manufacturing so we can make things in Ohio again. Tim understands that there’s nothing more patriotic than investing in our team, bringing good-paying jobs to Ohio, and making sure our workers can compete with countries around the world– and win.

My dad and both of my grandfathers worked at Ormet Aluminum. They collectively worked 95 years as proud members of the United Steelworkers. My grandfathers each retired when they were ready to, but my dad had to call it quits early when Ormet shut down in 2014. Ormet was Monroe County’s largest employer. Quickly after my dad’s plant closed its doors, Monroe County had the highest unemployment rate in the Buckeye State and the Appalachian Regional Commission designated it as 1 of 6 of Appalachian Ohio’s “distressed counties.”

Ryan wants to reverse this trend and start cutting workers in on the deal. At a recent round table moderated by our incredible former state senator Lou Gentile, someone who I am proud to call a friend and mentor, Congressman Ryan proclaimed: “This is about cutting the workers in on the deal. I think all of us know people in Ohio, especially in Southeastern Ohio, who are working harder than ever before. They’re showing up for work, doing their job and still struggling to get ahead. I think that’s what this campaign is all about. I know and understand what’s going on in the Ohio Valley and how we have to get the economy going. We have to get jobs for the communities large and small, and not forget about the communities that have been struggling.”

Statements like that are why I am supporting Tim Ryan for the U.S. Senate. Ryan will do whatever it takes to make sure Ohio and America start winning again. I encourage Ohio Valley voters to research Tim’s record and views and then consider giving Tim Ryan your support in 2022. You can learn more at his website, timforoh.com.

Taylor Myers is a lifelong Beallsville resident who worked on Ted Strickland’s Senate campaign. He has worked for Teach for America and is active in the Monroe County Democrat Party. He studied political science and other topics at Marietta College.

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