Trade Drives Ryan’s Push for Minority Leader, Sracic Says

HOWLAND TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Just as trade helped to drive Donald Trump’s surprise win in the presidential election, the issue also is behind U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s quest to become minority leader, Paul Sracic said this morning.

Sracic, professor and chairman of the department of political science and international relations at Youngstown State University, addressed the impact of trade on both political figures at today’s Good Morning, Trumbull County breakfast.

Trade was “the big issue” in the presidential election and “was what really got Donald Trump elected president,” Sracic said. According to a map on Sracic’s PowerPoint presentation, voters switched from supporting Democrats to Republicans in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, with poll numbers showing the change was largely based on trade, he said.

“The Democratic Party is worried. They’re worried about their future and they’re going to be keeping an eye on President Trump, asking him to keep his promises on trade,” he continued.

Trade is “in part what has led to this consideration of Congressman Ryan as minority leader,” he said. Ryan, D-13 Ohio, is challenging Nancy Pelosi, who was speaker of the House of Representatives when Democrats last held the majority.

“Congressman Ryan has always been outspoken on trade,” he continued. “So was his predecessor, Jim Traficant. So is [U.S. Sen.] Sherrod Brown. We have a lot of Democrats in the state who have spoke very strongly against these trade agreements.”

Ryan was to be the keynote speaker at the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber event, held at the Avalon Inn in Howland Township, but had to cancel due to this week’s leadership race. In a brief video message played at the breakfast meeting and posted online, Ryan discussed redevelopment efforts in the county, including the Warren Riverwalk, Packard Music Hall and the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren.

In the leadership election, which will take place tomorrow, Ryan will face a couple of obstacles, gender among them. Having just missed the opportunity to elect the first woman as president, Sracic  questions whether Democrats will “boot out” the first female speaker of the house.

In addition, Pelosi’s district includes wealthy Silicon Valle,y which helped her raise $141 million for Democrats this year, while Ryan has never raised more than $1 million in a year. The party out of power typically does well in the mid-term election following a presidential election, but Democrats will need money to be able to compete effectively, Sracic observed.

Other speakers this morning included Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith and Michael Hall, director of outside counsel for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Smith, who also serves as the county’s sanitary engineer, provided an overview of various ongoing and upcoming projects in the county. Those include the Golden Triangle infrastructure improvement project the county is doing in partnership with Warren and Howland. The partners are installing $3 million in infrastructure in the area, which had been neglected for years and is home to 3,500 jobs.

Hall discussed the Ohio Economic Development Manual, which the attorney general’s office published last year. The 257-page document outlines economic development law in the state, state and local development entities and state and local incentives.

Pictured: U.S. Rep Tim Ryan addresses Good Morning, Trumbull County in a recorded video. Ryan was slated to be the keynote speaker, but had to cancel with the vote for House Minority Leader scheduled for Wednesday. 

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