Ryan stressed the importance of prioritizing working-class voters during his ill-fated presidential campaign last year. The 10-term congressman is also at risk of losing his House seat, which includes Youngstown, in the next round of redistricting.
Ryan was elected to the House in 2002 after serving in the state Senate. He ran to replace former Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., his one-time boss, who was facing jail time for bribery and racketeering. Ryan won the primary despite being outspent by Democratic Rep. Tom Sawyer, who was drawn into the race due to redistricting. Ryan went on to win the general election, also defeating Traficant, who ran as an independent from jail.
The Senate race is expected to be crowded on both sides of the aisle. Other potential Democratic contenders include Amy Acton, the former head of the Ohio Department of Health, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Rep. Joyce Beatty, and former Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman.
Among Republicans, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, initially thought to be a front-runner, has decided not to run, and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted has also ruled out a run. Republicans including Reps. Steve Stivers, Mike Turner and Brad Wenstrup are among those considering a bid, as is former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.