Ryan defends record against 2018 GOP foe

WARREN — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said Wednesday his time in Washington, D.C., has led to real results for Ohio’s 13th District in the form of federal funds and advocacy, contrary to what a Valley native who plans to challenge Ryan said last week in announcing his run on the Republican ticket in 2018.

Ryan, 44, D-Howland, has held the seat representing most of Trumbull County, Mahoning County and parts of Portage, Stark and Summit counties since 2003.

Cardinal Mooney High School graduate and attorney Chris DePizzo returned to the Mahoning Valley about three months ago from New York City to start a family and make a run for the seat. DePizzo, 30, plans to settle in Cuyahoga Falls.

When announcing his run, DePizzo said Ryan has become too much a part of the the “system,” is too focused on national politics and the Democratic Party and in 15 years hasn’t done enough to “put our community back on a path to prosperity.”

But Ryan said voters have re-elected him so many times for a reason.

“I am proud to represent our community and proud of the things we have accomplished together. I appreciate the voters’ confidence in me and pledge to continue to work my heart out to help create opportunity for the families of our area. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my record and my vision for moving our region forward. Together, this district has achieved a great deal,” Ryan said.

Ryan said in recent years he has helped to secure $2.38 million in federal funds to bolster the Warren Fire Department; brought millions of dollars in investments to help secure the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna; secured nearly $9.5 million to demolish vacant homes in the districts’ most distressed areas; helped procure $20 million in federal funds to help incentivize a $1 billion dollar steel mill in the Mahoning Valley — the biggest investment in Youngstown and Girard in at least a half a century; and brought together the public and private sector entities in the TechBelt to invest $85 million to revitalize American manufacturing by opening America Makes.

And, Ryan said, his seniority on Defense and Military Construction Appropriations subcommittees puts him in a spot to advocate for military bases in Youngstown and Ravenna, to help acquire resources and fend off future attempts at base closures.

“But we have a lot more work to do and I will continue to do everything in my power to bring opportunity to the hard working people our community,” Ryan said.

DePizzo argues other regions in the country have seen an uptick in jobs and an improvement in their economies, while the job market and economy are stagnant in the district.

“People are leaving our community … our population has been decreasing for years now as folks leave the area and leave the state to pursue opportunities that don’t exist here. Our unemployment rate is still higher than both the national and state averages,” DePizzo said.