Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan challenges Pelosi for House Minority Leader

Brooke Forrest

Democratic Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan announced Thursday he will challenge current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the highest available Democratic leadership position.

“I have spent countless hours meeting and talking to Members of our Caucus, and the consensus is clear. What we are doing right now is not working,” Ryan wrote in a letter to colleagues.

Ryan addressed last Tuesday’s election as “a major turning point for the United States of America.”

“Like many Americans I was disheartened by the results, but I also realized that Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass by without a fight,” Ryan said.

Ryan has been the representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district—which includes Kent and surrounding areas—since 2013 and was formerly the representative of Ohio’s 17th District.

Ryan said that holding a Democratic leadership position has never been his life’s ambition, but cites the recent election and steady decline of Democratic seats as reasons to reevaluate our roles within the government.

“Under our current leadership, Democrats have been reduced to our smallest congressional minority since 1929. This should indicate to all of us that keeping our leadership team completely unchanged will simply lead to more disappointment in future elections,” Ryan said.

Pelosi has lead the Democratic caucus since 2003 and was formerly Speaker of the House.

While Pelosi hasn’t currently responded publicly to Ryan’s bid, she was confident she would retain her position announcing Wednesday that she has more than two-thirds support in the Democratic caucus.

Despite Pelosi’s possible caucus support, Ryan emphasized the importance of making changes in the Democratic party after the recent election.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will put forward policies and ideas to help us energize the diverse base of our party, and fight the intolerance and dangers that President-elect Trump represents,” Ryan said.

“Vote for me and I will dedicate all of my energy to lead us back into the majority. Our constituents deserve nothing less.”

Democratic party leadership elections are currently set to take place Nov. 30.

Brooke Forrest is the student politics reporter. Contact her at [email protected]