Ryan is running against Republican J.D. Vance, a Cincinnati businessman, for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Reacting to Ryan’s Vandalia rally, Vance campaign spokesman Luke Schroeder blamed Ryan for inflation, saying the congressman “rubber-stamped” President Joe Biden’s energy policies and government spending that Vance believes caused inflation.
“Ohioans need a commonsense leader like J.D. Vance in the Senate to clean up Joe Biden and Tim Ryan’s mess,” Schroeder said.
Ryan barely mentioned his opponent in his speech, instead talking about the importance of bringing more good paying jobs, improving education and reforming an economy where people working multiple jobs still can’t make ends meet.
“This race will shift the United States of America in favor of working class people,” Ryan said.
He said politicians of both parties failed workers by supporting trade policies that made it easy for companies to move jobs to other countries, battering communities like Dayton and Youngstown near where he grew up.
Ryan denounced the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. He said freedom is on the Tuesday ballot.
“We have to preserve big government staying out of our bedroom and big government staying out of our doctor’s office,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s “Workers First” rally is part of his whirlwind final sweep of Ohio that includes about 20 stops, including ones in Dayton and Xenia, in the final days before the Nov. 8 election.
“I like the fact that he’s going moderate. I want more moderates in Congress,” said former Huber Heights Mayor Tom McMasters, who attended the rally.
Ryan supporter Youssef Elzein, 60, of Dayton, said Ryan is a better choice than Vance because he will support the community and “reflects the values of everyone I associate with.”
“I thought it was uplifting, very positive and the kind of thing that working class people in Ohio need,” Michael Gross, 50, of Kettering, said after the speech.
Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, was one of several speakers at the rally. He touted Ryan’s support for universal pre-K and more funding for community college and workforce training, as well as providing more resources for students and teachers.
“Tim has always listened to the voices of educators as he’s made decisions while serving in the House of Representatives,” said DiMauro, whose group endorsed Ryan.
Ryan supporter Chris Gibbs, a farmer and former chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party said he left the GOP and became an independent because his former party no longer represented tenets such as diplomacy, statesmanship, compassion and personal responsibility.
“I’ve got the hat and I’ve got the cattle and I’m putting it all behind Tim Ryan,” Gibbs said in comments to the crowd before Ryan took the stage.
Numerous public polls show Ryan and Vance in a tight race in one of the most consequential election matchups of the year as the two political parties battle to dominate the U.S. Senate, which is divided 50-50. Democrats now hold the majority because Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, can break tie votes.
Vance is participating in the Ohio Republican Party statewide bus tour this week and also will rally in Montgomery County, on Nov. 7 with former President Donald Trump. Trump’s rally is at Wright Brothers Aero Inc., at 3700 McCauley Drive at the Dayton International Airport. Doors open at 3 p.m. for that rally and Trump is scheduled to speak at 8 p.m.
The Dayton Daily News is covering the Trump rally Monday.
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