YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Lou Lyras, a local business owner, is petitioning to run for Tim Ryan’s seat in Congress as an Independent. While Lyras is still looking for more signatures on his petition, he said he’s confident that once he gets them, his background and ideas will take him further than partisanship.
Lyras held a campaign event Friday night in downtown Youngstown. Several supporters attended, signing Lyras’ petition to run for office and talking with him about his stance.
A few short months ago, WKBN covered a story about Lyras, whose business — Corcon — repaints large bridges. Now he’s looking to repaint Ohio’s 13th Congressional District.
“I know that to beat Tim Ryan is going to be difficult, but now you got your name on the ballot, there’s a third chance and that’s what’s going to be good about this,” Lyras said.
Before he does, he needs 1,500 signatures. Lyras said he’s about 300 shy of that number, but he’s looking to pass it by at least a thousand.
Right now, he’s funding the campaign himself until his name is officially on the ballot.
“I can’t be bought. Once my name is on the ballot, I will then accept donations,” he said.
Petitioning as an Independent, Lyras said he doesn’t see either party doing as they promise.
“I would love to see a Republican Party hold dear to what they meant about being conservative and saving money. I’m pro-choice. The gun control, immigration — I’ve always been much more liberal than Republican.”
Some of his supporters at the Friday event have known him for some time. Others said it was their first time at an event like that.
“He isn’t a traditional politician. He’s a businessman and I think the United States needs to be run like a business as well,” Jonny Smail said.
Lyras considers himself more than a businessman.
“Am I an environmentalist? Of course, I am an environmentalist. We need to focus on increasing nuclear power, rebuilding the plants,” he said.
His biggest reason for running for the seat?
“I actually am worried about my kids, your children, our future. I really am. I’m very upset, what’s going on in the government now,” Lyras said.
He has until May 7, the day before the primary election, to get the signatures. He will then submit it to the board of elections for verification.
Until then, he plans on holding several more events like this one, getting as many signatures as possible.