YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan announced on his website that he is running for president.
His website states:
"As a congressman from Youngstown, Ohio for almost 20 years, I’ve watched the American Dream slip through the fingers of many Americans.
Like so many in America’s heartland, I come from a long line of factory workers who helped build our nation into a powerhouse of innovation. But over the last 20 years, failed leadership and broken promises have destroyed the middle-class, forcing our economy into crisis and pushing the American Dream out of reach.
When our local GM factory was shutdown last Thanksgiving, I got a call from my daughter who was consoling her friend whose father was an auto worker and was just laid off. My daughter said to me, with tears in her voice, “You have to do something.”
That’s why I am running for President. It’s time to do something."
Ryan has been in Congress since 2003 and has considered running for higher office previously.
Ryan grew up in Niles and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in nearby Warren.
Some, who have lived by Ryan and have worked with him in Trumbull County, are speaking out about watching him grow up into a presidential candidate.
"I have known him really since he was born," said Bill Leonard, of Niles, who lives next door to Ryan's mother, Rochelle. "He has been an exceptional kid and we are really proud of him. He has a made a big difference for us as a Congressman and he will make an even bigger difference if he becomes president," Leonard said.
Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins agrees, saying he hired Ryan as an intern in the 1990s.
"I knew his grandmother who worked for the sheriff's office, and his mother who worked for the clerk's office," Watkins said. "When I first met him when he was an intern you could tell he was very energized and had that political knack."
Watkins noted Ryan was an underdog when he first ran for Congress in 2003 but he found a way to win.
"Frankly I didn't think he would win his first time out and I give Tim all the credit in the world because he was out there in the streets with an army of young people to orchestrate a very successful political campaign," Watkins said.
He noted that Ryan has always been accessible to his voters.
Karen Allen, Trumbull County Clerk Of Courts, said she has known Ryan for more than 20 years and is thrilled someone from northeast Ohio is trying to get to the White House.
"He is going to go out there and talk to the people," Allen said. "Anybody that meets him, he is such a well liked person he speaks right to you. He knows its about jobs, it's about health care , he knows what he has to do and what he is going to do."