Tim Ryan talks economic growth in NH

NASHUA, New Hampshire — U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, may add his name to the already long list of 2020 presidential hopefuls, as he is spending time in New Hampshire this week.

“We talked a lot about the national political scene, and Youngstown, which he is from. He is very interested in job growth,” Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess said of his Wednesday meeting with Ryan.

The 45-year-old Ryan represents a district in northeast Ohio that has seen significant economic peril in recent decades, largely due to the decline of the region’s once mighty steel industry. Now the area faces another threat with the prospect that GM plans to close its assembly plant in Lordstown.

Donchess said Ryan expressed interest in ways that Nashua has experienced economic growth in recent years, particularly as it relates to redevelopment efforts for former industrial buildings such as Clocktower Place, the Cotton Mill and Lofts 34.

“He was very interested in the Performing Arts Center because he could see that that could be a significant drive economically,” Donchess said of Ryan. “He was very interested in Nashua job growth.”

Ryan has not confirmed that he will make a presidential run, but he recently told the Tribune Chronicle he is “strongly considering” it.

“The country is divided, as we all know, and there is no way for us to fix our economy and help workers and face all of the challenges we have when we are so divided,” Ryan further told the Tribune Chronicle.

While he also has a trip to Iowa planned, Wednesday was Ryan’s second day in New Hampshire, widely known for its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Tuesday, his schedule shows he met with Democrats and elected officials in both Manchester and Durham.

In addition to meeting with Donchess, on Wednesday, Ryan’s itinerary indicated a trip to the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Ryan graduated from this institution in 2000 when it was named the Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Today, Ryan is scheduled to make a trip to Portsmouth.

Ryan has not been shy about trying to attract economic development to his region. In the aftermath of last week’s announcement by online retail giant Amazon that the company would not build its HQ2 in New York City, Ryan sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking the firm to come to Ohio.

“Northeast Ohio is a perfect fit for Amazon to build its second headquarters. We’re home to over 8 million people and have a strong, reliable transportation infrastructure with easy access to four major airports and state-of-the art ports,” Ryan said regarding the letter.

“We’ve built a business-friendly environment and have an extensive web of renowned colleges and universities that can provide top talent to help Amazon succeed and grow into the future. We have people here ready to work, and the dedication and commitment they show every day is second to none. I will work with Jeff Bezos and leaders in our community to make this a reality. And I hope Amazon can consider northeast Ohio as their newest home,” Ryan wrote.

Junkins is the city editor for the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph.