Government

Ryan-Backed Group Aims to Reclaim Midwest for Dems

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The People’s House Project, a political startup supported by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, has announced its first congressional candidate endorsements for the 2018 cycle.

Founded by former MSNBC host Krystal Ball, the organization is focused on recruiting and supporting working-class Democratic candidates in the Midwest and Appalachia.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, has been among the organization’s most vocal supporters since its launch in June.

“If the 2016 election taught us anything, it’s that the Democratic Party needs to do a better job of hearing the voices of multi-racial working class Americans, particularly in economically hard-hit areas,” Ryan said. “People’s House Project understands we need to go further than just listening to working people, we need to get them a seat at the decision-making table.”

The endorsement of four candidates in West Virginia, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, marks a major ramping-up of the organization’s efforts to expand the Democratic footprint to traditionally Republican-held rural districts.

The candidates are:

  • Randy Bryce – ironworker, veteran, and president of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, running against House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st district.
  • Mike Crossey — special education teacher and president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, running in Pennsylvania’s 18th district.
  • Richard Ojeda, running in West Virginia’s 18th district, who won his last campaign on a $4,800 budget.
  • Mariah Phillips, running in Tennessee’s 4th district, a teacher and mother of five who works part time as a Starbucks barista to make ends meet.

“Our candidates run campaigns that are acts of passion and commitment, not calculation,” Ball, a former candidate for Congress, said. “They haven’t just read a New York Times article about how hard it is for working people, they’ve lived it. They understand that the central challenge of our time is creating an economy that works for the multi-racial working class.”

In addition to direct financial help, the People’s House Project assists in message development, media training, and connecting candidates to national donor networks. The organization plans to endorse as many as 25 candidates this cycle.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.