College Democrats at Ohio State invited U.S. Rep. and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan to speak at the Ohio Union Wednesday.
Ryan, D-Ohio, touched on topics ranging from clean energy to voter turnout at the Nov. 8 General Election, as well as the country’s current political climate and his opponent, Republican candidate J.D. Vance.
“This is a campaign that’s going to come down to a few thousand votes,” Ryan said. “I would hate for us to send someone like J.D. Vance to the United States Senate because we didn’t get enough turnout at the Ohio State University.”
Ryan has served in the U.S. Congress since 2003, originally representing the state’s 17th congressional district before redistricting. He has represented Ohio’s 13th congressional district since 2013, according to GovTrack.us
Ryan and Vance are vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Rob Portman, who cited “partisan gridlock” as his reason for not seeking reelection, according to a 2021 press release.
During his remarks, Ryan said he wanted to make the government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
“During the pandemic, if you need to get an unemployment check from the government to feed your family, it’ll take three months,” Ryan said. “Just because you’re a Democrat or you’re a progressive doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be for a functioning, modern, efficient government that uses all the technology that the private sector uses. Government is not a business, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t expect it to run efficiently on behalf of the taxpayer.”
Ryan said he aims to put an end to partisan politics in Congress.
“I want to absolutely shock the world,” Ryan said. “We are going to send a message to the rest of the country that the age of stupidity is behind us, and the age of extremism is behind us,” Ryan said. “Because a bunch of students in Ohio took it upon themselves to make a big, big difference.”
The Ohio State College Democrats also invited Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Chelsea Clark.
Hayley Griggs, a third-year in political science and president of College Democrats, said the event was a way to get students interested and mobilized around the election.
“This is a great way of people getting energized, people telling their friends they need to vote, and who are they going to vote for? They’re going to vote for Tim Ryan,” Griggs said.
Luke Schroeder, press secretary for the J.D. Vance campaign, said in an email Ryan has a more liberal voting history than his ads may indicate.
“Tim Ryan pretends to be a moderate in his slick TV ads, but his voting record throughout his 20 year career in Washington, D.C. proves he’s an unabashed liberal,” Schroeder said. “Ryan can try to deceive Ohioans all he wants, but he can’t escape the fact that he votes with [(President Joe]) Biden and [(House Speaker Nancy]) Pelosi 100 percent of the time.”
Nigel Becker, communications executive for College Republicans at Ohio State and a third-year in strategic communications and political science, said in a statement Ryan has been ineffective during his time as a politician.
“In 20 years, he’s sponsored just five bills that made it into law and votes with Biden and Pelosi 100 percent of the time,” Becker said. “Is it any wonder he ranks 155 out of 240 for effectiveness among House Democrats?”