Rep. Ryan faces challengers Hagan and Fricke in Ohio 13th Congressional debate

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Most people were interested in how incumbent Democrat Tim Ryan, D-Howland, matched up with Republican challenger Christina Hagan

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown State University Press Club hosted a debate Monday night between Valley Congressman Tim Ryan and challengers Christina Hagan and Michael Fricke.

Most people were interested in how incumbent Democrat Ryan, D-Howland, matched up with Republican challenger Hagan. In the end, both got their talking points across.

The debate began with a question on the economy and the roll a representative from Congress can play.

“Because of the position that I have in Washington, I’ve been able to bring back hundreds of millions of dollars, and it has led to this blossoming of our economy,” Ryan said.

Hagan sees the future of the local economy based on programs from the Trump administration.

“We need to embrace the Trump tax cuts. We need to embrace the economy that was booming prior to COVID. We need to work to reduce regulations on small businesses,” Hagan said.

“No one’s going to get a job because of these two,” Fricke said. “It’s private industry.”

The candidates were asked about health care, and their thoughts were along party lines.

“So, the important thing we can do is continue to restore free market principals in our health care system,” Hagan said.

“Privatize? You want to privatize? Our people need help. We need expansion of health care,” Ryan said.

Ryan and Hagan went at it briefly on the topic of outside money being used in the campaign.

“We’ve knocked on over 170,000 doors, and you’ve just got out over the fast few weekends,” Hagan said.

“Were those doors in the district?” Ryan asked.

“I don’t know. Are you on picket lines inside the district, Tim?” Hagan asked. “You get lost all the time.”

Hagan does not live in the 13th District, and that issues was brought up, too.

“To have someone who ran in one district two years ago and lost and then runs in another district when she doesn’t even live in either of those districts just doesn’t make any sense,” Ryan said.

Hagan made no apologies about her candidacy.

“The fact is these gentlemen want me to apologize for applying for a job that I have met every constitutional requirement to apply for. I live six-tenths of a mile from the district line,” Hagan said.

The candidates were asked about how to deal with COVID-19. Hagan says the government can support a vaccine but should get out of the way when the pharmaceutical companies ask. She also says China needs to be punished.

Ryan says everyone needs access to health care, which is why he says he supported Medicaid expansion in Ohio and said Hagan did not.

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