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Ryan should drop liberal tendencies

Trumbull and Mahoning counties not only went red in the presidential race, Trumbull also went red in the 13th congressional race.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, should bear that in mind as he heads from his hometown back to Washington, where he has tended to speak the liberal Democratic line openly.

In years past, that might have sufficed for a strongly left-leaning constituency, but it appears, by the results of Tuesday’s election, those days are gone.

Ryan faced his toughest challenge since first taking the congressional seat in 2003 when he faced conservative former state Rep. Christina Hagan. Ryan’s re-election campaign pushed hard on the fact that Hagan, of Marlboro Township in Stark County, does not live in the 13th Congressional District. Living within the district’s borders is not a requirement for Congress.

We previously have acknowledged in this space that Hagan’s residency outside the district was bothersome to us. But it didn’t seem to bother the tens of thousands of 13th Congressional District voters that cast their ballots for her over Ryan.

Hagan beat Ryan in two counties — Stark and, surprisingly, Trumbull.

According to the unofficial and incomplete tallies, Hagan claimed 43,623 votes in Trumbull County to Ryan’s 42,548.

He did win Mahoning County by a significant margin — 47,525 to 35,860, along with Summit and Portage counties, which round out the five-county 13th District.

But after voters turned Trumbull and Mahoning counties red in their support of Donald Trump in the presidential race, we believe Ryan should take this to heart. Indeed, Trumbull County now is clearly labeled “purple,” if not red.

We urge Ryan to think hard about what his constituency would want when he takes the House floor in D.C. to speak publicly or when he co-sponsors legislation and when he votes on bills.

He should be cognizant that the liberal talking points led by Nancy Pelosi are no longer always the right answer as far as his Mahoning Valley constituency goes.

With the upcoming redistricting of congressional seats that will be led by the Republican-controlled state Legislature, Ryan also faces the very real possibility of seeing his district lines change, pitting him against a sitting Republican incumbent. Indeed, his vulnerability may grow.

Ryan has argued that his work on economic issues and new manufacturing, coupled with his bipartisanship, are among his biggest selling points.

If that is the case, we urge him to continue his work to grow the economy and, even more than that, to reach across the aisle in Washington to cooperate with Republicans. That likely will be the best way to get things accomplished for his district.

While we may not have a Republican president come January, we will have a House with fewer Democratic seats and perhaps a Republican-controlled Senate.

Talking the liberal speak and walking the far left line is likely not the way to get things accomplished for his now right-leaning home district.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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