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Ryan raises $1.2M for expected Senate bid

With an announcement expected later this month about a Senate bid, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan reported raising more than $1.2 million during the first three months of this year.

It’s more than twice as much money as Ryan has ever raised in a quarter in his 18-plus years in Congress. His previous best quarter was July to September 2020 in which he raised $586,146.

Several sources close to Ryan, D-Howland, say he officially will announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate later this month.

“Grassroots support for Tim Ryan continues to grow as Ohioans recognize a strong and authentic leader who fights every day to cut workers in on the deal,” Dennis Willard, his campaign spokesman, said in a prepared statement.

Of the contributions, 88 percent were less than $200, according to Ryan’s campaign.

Ryan tweeted Thursday: “This is not a drill. $1.2M raised in the first quarter, 88 percent from grassroots donors. I’m humbled by this support. Let’s go!!”

He added: “If we’re going to win this fight to cut working families in on the deal, we need to keep the momentum going. Can I count on you?” It included a link to contribute to his campaign.

Ryan had only $19,186.98 in his campaign account as of Dec. 31. His campaign said Thursday he now has more than $1 million in it.

In comparison to the $1.2 million in the first quarter, Ryan raised $1,991,087.32 during the entirety of his last campaign, which was a record for him. Ryan beat Republican Christina Hagan of Marlboro Township by 7.55 percent in his closest election during his congressional career. He was first elected in 2002.

Also, during the six-plus months Ryan ran for president in 2018, he raised $1,341,246.39, which was the second-least amount of money among the 20-plus Democrats who sought the position.

The Ryan campaign still is working on the first-quarter financial report. The report doesn’t have to be filed until April 15 with the Federal Election Commission.

A successful candidate in the Senate race in Ohio likely would need to raise at least $20 million with that number possibly being as high as $50 million.

In the 2018 gubernatorial race, Republican Mike DeWine raised $24 million to $19.5 million for Democrat Richard Cordray. DeWine won by 3.7 percent.

No Democrats have declared for the Senate seat with Ryan expected to be the first.

Others considering it are Dr. Amy Acton, the former Ohio Department of Health director, as well as Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, a former state treasurer.

The 314 Action Fund, a Democratic political action committee that recruits candidates with science and technology backgrounds, recently said it would spend up to $5 million to support Acton in the primary.

On the Republican side, former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken and Josh Mandel, a former two-term state treasurer who unsuccessfully ran in 2012 for the Senate, have announced their candidacies. A number of others — including U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta — strongly are considering bids.

Timken’s campaign team includes a number of national Republican veterans with experience running in Ohio.

Mandel’s campaign announced Thursday it had raised $1.3 million in the past seven weeks. He had $4.36 million in his federal campaign account as of Dec. 31.

“It is clear that Ohioans are hungry for an America-first, constitutional conservative, Trump warrior who has the backbone to stand up to the Washington, D.C., swamp,” Mandel said.

RYAN STAFF

Since U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, announced Jan. 25 that he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2022, Ryan has been focused on succeeding him and actively raising money for his campaign.

He’s already picked up endorsements from the Ohio International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the national SMART-TD union for freight railroad workers, the Painters and Allied Trades union, the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers union.

Ryan also has been lining up a campaign staff.

While his staff won’t be named until Ryan’s Senate announcement, sources confirmed a previous Politico report that Dave Chase, who just ran the re-election campaign of Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, will serve as campaign manager.

Left Hook, a prominent Democratic firm, will be Ryan’s media consultant. Left Hook recently hired Justin Barasky, an Ohio native who managed the 2018 re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, and is a former senior adviser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Also, Kimberly Padilla, Brown’s former financial director who steered Ryan’s fundraising during his last congressional election, will move to his Senate campaign.

A communications team also is expected to be hired with Willard taking an advisory role. Also, Michael Morley, Ryan’s campaign manager, will become a senior adviser to the campaign.

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