Tim Ryan appears to have 17th district locked

Sean Ammerman

At this point, the race for the House seat in Ohio’s 17th Congressional District is all but Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan’s to lose.

And with less than two weeks before the election, it doesn’t seem likely that he could make a big enough mistake to prevent his move into a third term.

The incumbent’s hold on the Democrat-favored 17th District, which includes parts of Summit, Portage, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, seems to be solid.

Nevertheless, Ryan said he is not taking this race lightly.

“You either run scared or you don’t run at all,” he said. “You have to run hard, and that’s how I always run. So we’re taking this election seriously.”

His only opponent is write-in Republican Don Manning, a jewelry store owner from Mecca Township.

Manning’s experience includes serving on the Mecca Community Park Board from 1999-2001, and as the vice chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party, a position he has held since last June.

Manning has lost his previous political campaigns. His most recent losses were a 2005 bid for Mecca Township trustee and a 2002 bid for Trumbull County commissioner.

Manning, a 39-year-old native of Sherman, Texas, said in a biography he filed to the Youngstown Vindicator during his race for Trumbull County commissioner in 2002 that his main concern was to “bring ethics back into public service.”

Craig Bonar, the Trumbull County Republican Party chairman, said he asked Manning to run because he didn’t want Ryan to be unopposed or face only an independent.

Bonar cited his performance in the 2002 race for Trumbull County commissioner, where he said Manning earned 44 percent of the vote, as an example of his ability.

“He’s a great speaker, he owns his own business,” Bonar said. “He did a great job in the county commissioner’s race.”

However, he said he is disappointed in Manning’s run for the 17th District, and said he will try to find a better candidate in the future.

Manning did not return any calls from the Daily Kent Stater to his home, cell or work phones.

Norm Sandvoss, Portage County Republican Party Chairman, said the difficulty in challenging Ryan lays in the lack of name recognition from other candidates.

Even though they disagree with his politics, Sandvoss and Bonar agree that Ryan has an impressive track record.

Ryan, a 33-year-old from Niles, served as an Ohio state senator from 2000-2002 before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2002.

If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland is elected, it could have a profound effect on Ryan’s policymaking, as would a Democratic majority in the House.

“Your ability to offer proposals and make a difference is greater when you have an ally as governor or a House in your party’s favor,” he said. “It will allow me to do more.”

Contact assistant sports editor Sean Ammerman at [email protected].


Name: Tim Ryan

Party: Democrat

Age: 33

Residence: Niles

Political Experience: Representative, U.S. House of Representatives, 2002-present

Senator, Ohio State Senate, 2000-2002

Quote: “When I go into a situation I think how to fix it without bringing a preconceived notion. That’s what the younger and more successful members of the House tend to do.”

Name: Don Manning

Party: Republican

Age: 39

Residence: Born in Sherman, Texas; lives in Mecca Township

Political Experience: Vice Chairman, Trumbull County Republican Party, 2006-present

Mecca Community Park Board, 1999-2001

Quote: N/A (not available for comment)