CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Congressman Tim Ryan has spent a lot of time campaigning outside of the Mahoning Valley, trying to convince people in other parts of Ohio that he’s the best candidate to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate. But on Thursday, he brought the campaign home with an appearance at the Canfield Fair.
Ryan arrived Thursday evening at the Canfield Fair with his son Brady, taking pictures and shaking hands around the Democratic Party’s tent. He’s been campaigning for Ohio’s vacant Senate seat for 16 months.
“I mean, it’s a grind. Not much sleep but it’s been exciting. I love meeting the people around the state,” he said.
Ryan has been to every part of the state.
“All 88 counties. Many of them more than once,” he said.
On Wednesday, he was in Harrison, Ohio, northwest of Cincinnati, on the Indiana border.
“It was awesome. It was like a rural area. There was a gun range behind me, guns are going off. It’s awesome. It’s been great,” he said.
Ryan called Ohio a tale of two states. There’s the new Intel plant in Columbus and Ultium Cells in Lordstown. But other parts have no broadband or infrastructure.
“I think the job of guys like me in the Senate are going to be, how do you plug everybody in and make sure that these forgotten communities can thrive in the new economy?” he said.
Before Ryan walked the fairgrounds, he stopped at a concession stand for a sausage sandwich.
A life-long Democrat, he’s found himself in many communities dominated by Republicans.
“I love it actually. I sit down, I say, ‘Hey look, we’re not going to agree on everything. My wife and I don’t agree on everything. So you and I are never going to agree on everything, so where do we go from there? How can I help? Who’s messing with you? Who can I help you with? What’s the government need to do for you? What does the government need to stop doing that’s causing you trouble? Let’s have a conversation,'” Ryan said.
Ryan says he’s spoken at a Chamber of Commerce in a ruby-red Republican area. He says he tells everyone that he doesn’t care who they voted for, he doesn’t care about their politics — “Let’s talk.”