Tim Ryan: Everything you need to know about the 2020 presidential candidate

The Ohio congressman said he will seek re-election for his House seat.

October 24, 2019, 3:31 PM

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan announced his candidacy for president during an April 4 appearance on ABC's "The View."

Out of the running: He dropped out of the race on Oct. 24, but said, "this voice will not be stifled."

"I will continue to advocate and fight for the working people of this country -- white, black, brown, men, women," he said in the video announcing he was leaving the race.

Name: Tim Ryan

Party: Democrat

Date of Birth: July 16, 1973

Hometown: Niles, Ohio

Family: Ryan is married to Andrea Zetts, and they have a son named Brady. Ryan also has two other kids from Zetts' previous marriage.

Education: Ryan got a B.A. in political science from Bowling Green State University in 1995 and earned a J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 2000. He also studied abroad in Florence, Italy, as part of the Dickinson School of Law's International Law Program.

What he does now: Ryan currently represents Ohio’s 13th Congressional District. He was first elected to Congress in 2003 and is currently serving his 8th term in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee, Budget Committee, the Defense Subcommittee Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and chairs the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. Ryan is also co-chairman on a number of congressional caucuses including the Manufacturing Caucus and the Military Mental Health Caucus.

What he used to do: Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Ryan was a state representative in Ohio from 2000 to 2002. His career in politics began in 1995, when he worked as a congressional aide for Ohio Rep. Jim Traficant. He later became president of the Trumbull County Young Democrats. Ryan served a half term in the Ohio State Senate from 2000-2002 before announcing his candidacy to represent Ohio in Congress after Traficant, who Ryan had worked for, was convicted on criminal charges earlier in the year.

Key life/career moments:

Ryan was 29 years old when he was first elected to Congress.

He made national headlines in 2016 when he took on Nancy Pelosi to fill her role as House Minority Leader. He argued that the party needed a new generation of leadership. Ryan received 63 votes to Pelosi's 134, and while he fell short to her, it was the closest contested party leadership race in years.

Ryan cited the General Motors in Lordstown, Ohio, shutting down which led 3,000 people to lose their jobs as a defining moment which propelled him to enter the 2020 presidential race.

Where he stands on some of the issues:

Ryan co-sponsored the Medicare for All Act in Congress this year but is still a proponent of allowing people to keep their private health coverage if they prefer.

The Ohio congressman previously had an "A" rating from the NRA, but shifted his stance following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He has given approximately $20,000 to gun control organizations since his change of position on the issue.

Ryan also previously opposed abortion rights but flipped his stance in 2015.


Ryan -- one of the last candidates to join the 2020 race -- stands towards the bottom of the pack when it comes to fundraising. He amassed $890,000 during the second quarter.

What you might not know about him:

In 2012, Ryan published a book on the practice of mindfulness and meditation called "A Mindful Nation." According to Ryan, the meditation practice could help Democrats in dealing with President Donald Trump.

"I don’t have to like him, I don’t have to go drink beer with him, I don’t have to play golf with him," Ryan told ABC’s Dan Harris back in 2017 on the "10% Happier" podcast. "But if he has something that’s going to help my constituents, I hope I can ratchet my own stuff down to be able to do that. I mean, it’s my obligation to be able to do that."

Ryan furthered his passion for mindfulness by creating a "Quiet Time Caucus" in Congress for lawmakers and staffers to have space for meditation and to sit in silence.

Ryan has spent his time in Congress working to reform U.S. trade policies, including introducing the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act in 2010 which would have put in place punitive trade tariffs on countries like China that carry out practices such as currency manipulation.

Before entering politics, Ryan was on his way to play collegiate football at Youngstown State University until a knee injury ended his playing career.