Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is the latest Democrat to join the 2020 presidential race. Here's what you need to know

PHOTO: Rep. Tim Ryan, R-Ohio, talks with reporters outside the House Democrats leadership elections in Washington D.C., Nov. 29, 2018.PlayTom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Rep. Tim Ryan tells 'The View' he's 'going to run for president of the United States'

After much speculation, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States during an April 4 appearance on “The View.”

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"Our country has been divided for a long time," Ryan told “The View” co-hosts. "The first thing we have to do is unify."

Ryan said he first told his daughter that he's running for president after she called him crying about a friend's dad's General Motors job being affected. "My daughter called me and she said, 'You got to do something.' And I said, 'I'm going to do something. I'm going to run for president of the United States. We're going to make sure this doesn't happen anymore,' Ryan said."

In his announcement, Ryan outlined the core issues of his campaign which include working to speak to blue collar workers who President Donald Trump captured during his 2016 campaign.

“I understand that legacy of job loss,” Ryan said. "I understand where we need to go. The country is so divided right now that we can't get a plan together. The first thing we have to do is unify."

"There's so many industries out there growing. Wind and solar is growing at 25% to 30% a year. Electric vehicles, there's 2 million made today," Ryan said. "By 2030 there will be 30 million electric vehicles. I want those vehicles made in the United States."

Sweeping victories across the rust belt helped propel the president to historic victory in 2016, and now the Buckeye State congressman hopes to help Democrats recapture those working class voters and the White House in 2020.

The eight-term representative from Ohio has long been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic party, often floated as a potential major candidate for higher office but has until now balked at taking the plunge.

Ryan has represented Ohio’s 13th Congressional District since 2003 and he currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Budget Committee.

He rose to national prominence in 2016 when he launched a bid to replace Nancy Pelosi, whom he called a mentor at the time, as House Minority Leader. Ryan’s pitch to lead House Democrats came down to his belief that in order for the party to start winning elections again, it needed younger and fresher leadership.

“We have lost over 60 seats since 2010,” Ryan said back in 2016. “We have the fewest Democrats in state and federal offices since Reconstruction. At this time of fear and disillusionment, we owe it to our constituencies to listen and bring a new voice into leadership.”

And while Ryan ultimately came up short and Pelosi was again elected House Minority Leader, the vote was the closest contested party leadership race in years and earned him national attention.

Ryan has been floated as a potential major contender for everything from the 2014 Ohio governor election to senate races. And now that he has jumped into the crowded and ever growing 2020 Democratic primary, Ryan, who’s already come out against the Green New Deal, will need to pitch his moderate and unifying form of politics to voters amid a far more progressive party than years back.

Here's everything you need to know:

Name: Tim Ryan

Party: Democrat

Date of Birth: July 16, 1973

Age: 45

Hometown: Niles, Ohio

Early life:

Ryan was born in Niles, Ohio in 1973, and at 45 that makes him one of the younger Democrats running for president. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, where he was the high school quarterback and before getting into politics he received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Bowling Green State University and a law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Ryan, according to his according to his official biography, also studied abroad in Florence, Italy, as part of the Dickinson School of Law's International Law Program.

His career in politics began in 1995 when he worked as a congressional 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.

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, 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.

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.

In 2015, the once proud ”pro-life” Democrat penned an op-ed announcing that he had changed his thinking on the issue and would support pro-choice policies moving forward.

"While there are people of good conscience on both sides of this argument, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the heavy hand of government must not make this decision for women and families," Ryan wrote.

What he used to do:

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Ryan was a state representative in Ohio from 2000-2002 during which he worked to establish a state-based earned income tax credit, standardize community school data reporting, and addressed higher education funding. Before entering politics, Ryan was on his way to play collegiate football at Youngstown State University until a knee injury ended his playing career.

What you may not know about him:

In 2012, Ryan published a book on the practice of mindfulness 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.”