Taylor, Ryan, Cafaro Mull Prospects Come Nov. 9

WARREN, Ohio – Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor still plans to vote for Donald Trump, although she understands the position that Gov. John Kasich has taken on the GOP nominee, and she is thinking about running to replace Kasich in two years.

Taylor is among the many elected officials who will be surveying the political landscape in the aftermath of the presidential election, which takes place two weeks from today. Among those also contemplating the post-Nov. 8 environment in terms of their futures will be U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and state Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-32 Hubbard.

Interviewed following a closed-door Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber discussion at the Avalon Inn and Resort in Howland Township, Taylor acknowledged she is contemplating a gubernatorial bid in 2018 and will be in a position to say more in the next couple of months.

“There’s no doubt what happens on Election Day is certainly to be considered, understanding first of all who wins and what that means for the next election in Ohio,” he said. If a Republican wins the presidency, historically it is “really hard [for a Republican] to win a [gubernatorial] race in Ohio the next election out,” she said.

The most important consideration is whether she can “still make a difference” in in people’s lives, Taylor said. She isn’t looking at who else might run. “If I make the decision to run it’s going to be because I have better ideas and I’m the best person,” she remarked.

The presidential contest, as well as national congressional races, carries implications for both Ryan and Cafaro.

Speculation has swirled that Ryan is under consideration for a cabinet post in a Clinton administration. “That’s a one-person decision that needs to be made and I’m not privy,” the congressman told The Business Journal.

If Democrats were to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives – largely considered unlikely but still seen as a possibility depending on how much of a drag Trump is on the GOP ballot — w impact how he responds to any offer.

“If we take back the House, then that’s a variable to affect any decision,” he said.

Should Ryan take a cabinet post. Cafaro confirmed she would be interested in his congressional seat.

“I’m very open about it,” she said. “You certainly can’t plan everything around a potential ‘if’ but I’m going through the process and making sure that folks are aware of my intentions should there be an opportunity.”

The congressman, with his wife, Andrea, and Cafaro, stopped by the Trumbull County Board of Elections Monday to cast their ballots early in a press event coordinated by the Clinton campaign.

Ryan, a prominent Clinton surrogate who spoke during prime time at the Democratic National Convention in July, said the trendlines in Ohio look good for Clinton. The former secretary of state had been down in statewide polls by 3 or 4 points a few weeks ago.

“Now it’s neck and neck and moving in the right direction,” Ryan said.

Ohio is outperforming 2012 numbers for early voting, which reflects strength for voters coming to the polls to cast ballots for Clinton, Cafaro, D-32 Hubbard, pointed out.

“It certainly is going to be close,” she predicted. “Ohio likes to keep everybody in suspense. That’s why we’re a swing state.”

Cafaro agreed with Ryan that momentum is with the Clinton campaign in the state when it “needs to be in these final weeks.” Clinton and her surrogates have been in the state frequently over the last few weeks and Vice President Joe Biden is back in Ohio on behalf of the campaign.

“I’m optimistic that she’s going to win the state,” she said.

Ryan said the Democrats’ sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation will pay dividends. “And Trump obviously is continuing to alienate people with his instability,” he continued. “We’ve come a long way but I think the last couple weeks are going to be strong for us as long as we get out the vote.”

The House could be in “uncharted waters” should Republicans retain the majority, although they are still expected to lose seats. GOP losses likely would come at the expense of more moderate members, further empowering hard-liners in the caucus, Ryan predicted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly is being targeted by the conservative Freedom Caucus, whose members are angry at Ryan not supporting Trump.

“It could be a real ugly lame-duck session,” Ryan said.

The mission over the next two weeks for Democrats is to convince voters they should vote for a Democratic candidates running for Congress because Republicans are “completely incapable” of governing.

“You should vote for Democrats so that we can work with Hillary and work with the Senate and pass a transportation bill, get people back to work and that type of thing,” he said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.