Ryan seeks an eighth term

WARREN — U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan is running for re-election and looks to the business incubator, for which he helped secure funding to start six years ago in downtown Warren, to help move the Valley forward economically.

Ryan, 43, D-Howland, in an effort to secure his eighth term in Congress, is facing two opponents — Calvin Hill and Richard Morckel — in the Nov. 8 election.

In his recent interview with the Tribune Chronicle editorial board, Ryan answered a question about what he can do for Warren by pointing to the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, or TBEIC, which got its start with a 2010 earmark secured by Ryan that allowed the purchase and renovation of the former Kresge building.

Ryan said the goal is to attract energy entrepreneurs into the facility.

“It is not happening as quickly as we would like, but we are securing money. Renewable energy is growing, it is smart to get out in front of of it,” Ryan told the newspaper. “We could grow a whole sector of the economy moving if the state gave us $600,000 a year, we’d be humming along. The problem is, nothing is getting done in Washington, so we need the local seed to get started.”

A goal of the incubator, Ryan said, is to keep the businesses close by when they are ready to grow and move on, like in Youngstown, where businesses moving out of that incubator on average stay within 5 miles.

Ryan said he is working with those in state government to help secure funding.

“It is not easy, but we are working through it,” Ryan said. “We are interfacing with the state, the owner of the site, and other agencies that will help get the project off the ground.”

Among the companies that may come to the incubator is one that makes LEDs for Navy submarines.

The LEDs last longer, Ryan said, and the company has a good track record with Navy contracts.

Ryan said the Youngstown Business Incubator increased foot traffic in downtown Youngstown and a successful incubator in Warren will do the same.

The congressman would like to see gridlock end in Washington.

“We need to get campaign finance reform, tax code reform and we also need to get a transportation bill through, which is damn near impossible with Congress the way it is now,” Ryan said.

The district includes parts of Mahoning, Trumbull, Portage, Stark and Summit counties. In Trumbull County, the district takes in the central and southern tiers of townships.

Morckel, 61, of Akron, is the Republican challenger who did not appear for a Tribune interview. He has worked for a Canton television station, Timken Co.,  Goodyear, and for the past nine years at Philips Heathcare in Cleveland.

“The defense of the republic is my campaign,” Morckel said on his website.

Morckel realizes he has an uphill battle facing a longtime incumbent. But he holds incumbents responsible for the growing national debt, which has mounted to $10 trillion in the last eight years to a total of $20 trillion.

“This is more of an attack than of investment which Tim Ryan and Hillary (Clinton) presently advocate after the fact of incurring said debt. Their timing is self evident, in that it is disingenuous,” he said.

He said longtime incumbents are well-funded professional politicians, who are holding the interest rate low to maintain the monstrous national debt.

The website also notes Morckel opposes a  federal law that allows American companies to replace American workers with cheaper, more compliant foreign workers.

“We are not talking just high tech workers,” Morckel said.  “It is enmity with the republic, by global companies enjoying the benefits of citizenship with no obligation of common bond with U.S. citizens.”

He also opposes TARP, federal funding for abortion and raiding of the Social Security fund. Morckel supports low-taxed enterprise zones and a prohibition of businesses with federal contracts from donating to PACs of any sort.

Also in the race is Calvin Hill Sr., 85, of Youngstown, a write-in candidate who did not respond to the Tribune’s request for information. According to the political.com website, Hill is retired and ran for mayor of Youngstown in 2009.