Trump backs Hagan for Congress

Staff photo / Ed Runyan Christina Hagan, Republican candidate for the 13th Congressional District, greets Vice President Mike Pence moments after he exited Air Force Two at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport on June 25. Pence was in town for the unveiling of a new electric automobile being made in Lordstown. Hagan will challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, in the November election.

WARREN — President Donald Trump stepped into the local U.S. Congressional race fray by endorsing fellow Republican and former state representative Christina Hagan in her attempt to oust Congressman Tim Ryan.

Trump tweeted Hagan “will be an incredible Congresswoman for the working families of Northeast Ohio,” and praised her for being an early supporter of “our #MAGA agenda,” and as someone who is “Strong on Jobs, Border Security and your Second Amendment,” before going into attack mode on Ryan.

Trump called Ryan — a vocal and harsh critic of the president who supports Trump’s challenger this fall, former Vice President Joe Biden — an “absolute failure” who “talks big for the worker, but never delivers.”

“Tim Ryan was a failed Presidential candidate and he keeps failing Ohio. Vote for Christina Hagan, who has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Ryan almost immediately clapped back to Friday’s tweet, writing “The ‘absolute failure’ is your shameful response to the coronavirus — which has devastated our economy, hurt our workers, and killed upwards of 130K Americans. Delete your account. Put down your phone. Do your job.”

In another tweet, Ryan used Trump’s tweet to urge supporters to donate to his campaign.

“Trump just endorsed our opponent. She’s anti-choice, anti-union, even anti-vax and now she’s endorsed by Trump. Right-wing money is pouring into her campaign right now, can you chip in right now to help us fight back?'” Ryan tweeted.

Ryan’s campaign spokesman, Dennis Willard, doubled-down on that tweet Monday, stating in an email that Hagan “is an anti-vaxxer as the coronavirus spreads and she doesn’t live in the district. She is extreme, dangerous and out-of-touch, and we doubt the president ever heard of her before last week.”

Hagan of Alliance, who won a seven-way GOP primary in April, was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from March 2011 to December 2018, serving a portion of Stark County in the 50th District. She lost the 2018 Republican primary for the 16th Congressional District seat to Anthony Gonzalez.

She retweeted Trump’s endorsement, thanking the president for his support, and also wrote “#OH13 was once a great manufacturing powerhouse & we, the American Workers, are ready to start WINNING & leading AGAIN!”

Hagan greeted Vice President Mike Pence on June 25 at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport before he spoke at Lordstown Motors Corp.’s reveal of its all-electric pickup truck, the Endurance.

A media release highlighting Trump’s endorsement in the race provided by Trump’s re-election campaign in Ohio included a reference to that Pence-Hagan meeting at the local airport.

“Christina has been a strong supporter and ally of President Trump since 2016, and the people of Ohio deserve her strong, principled leadership in northeast Ohio,” campaign spokesman Dan Lusheck said. “Tim Ryan has failed his constituents for far too long, and we look forward to working alongside Christina to win in November.”


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