WARREN, Ohio — It's not all that surprising, but it's certain to provide a boost for one local politician as Election Day approaches.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday publicly endorsed U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan for reelection in Ohio's 13th congressional district. It's a rare backing of a down-ballot candidate for the former vice president, and echoes the congressman's own endorsement of Biden during the presidential primaries.
Biden issued the following statement:
"Tim Ryan is a champion for Ohio's working families. He puts people first and gets things done because he will join forces with anyone who is willing to help working women or men.
"Tim is a tough fighter, who has worked to kickstart our economy and keep our loved ones safe during the coronavirus. I'm proud to stand with Tim."
Ryan is running for his 10th consecutive term against Stark County native and former State Rep. Christina Hagan, who boasts the endorsement of President Donald Trump. Most political analysts peg Ryan as the overwhelming favorite, although Hagan's campaign was listed as having more cash on hand during the last FEC reporting period, according to Team Biden.
The Democratic congressman's platform primarily focuses on infrastructure jobs, actions towards universal health care, and increased funding for education; the Republican Hagan has emphasized cutting government spending, building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and protecting gun rights, among other issues. The two (along with Libertarian nominee Michael Fricke) met for a debate sponsored by 3News sister station 21 News in Youngstown last week, where Ryan particularly took Hagan to task for not actually living within the 13th district.
Biden and Ryan were technically rivals only a year ago, with the latter joining the former in a crowded group vying for the Democratic presidential nomination. However, Ryan failed to gain any traction in the polls, and dropped out of the race before the primaries and eventually endorsed Biden last November.