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Ohio U.S. Senate race heating up with union endorsements for Ryan

 Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Howland) shakes hands with Mike Knisely, executive secretary and treasurer of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, as he arrives for a press conference at the Ohio Ironworkers Local 172 training facility in Columbus. The council voted to endorse Ryan for Ohio's open US Senate seat.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Howland) shakes hands with Mike Knisely, executive secretary and treasurer of the Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council, as he arrives for a press conference at the Ohio Ironworkers Local 172 training facility in Columbus. The council voted to endorse Ryan for Ohio's open US Senate seat.

The Democratic candidate for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat has received the endorsement of a union group that has a record of endorsing Republicans as well.

The Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council is made up of 14 local member councils and more than 100,000 workers.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Howland) said this endorsement reflects the work he’s been doing with unions for over two decades — which is in contrast to his opponent, Trump-endorsed Republican J.D. Vance.

“The last thing we need in the United States Senate now is another millionaire venture capitalist who doesn’t understand what working class people are going through," Ryan said, not referring to Vance by name but referencing his past work in venture capital in several states, including Ohio.

This is the building trades council’s first statewide candidate endorsement. In 2020, the Ohio Building Trades endorsed Joe Biden, but 6 of the 11 Ohio members of Congress they backed are Republicans, and they endorsed both Republicans running for the Ohio Supreme Court.

With union membership in Ohio down 44% since 1990, labor endorsements may not carry the weight they used to. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there are still almost 600,000 Ohioans who are represented by unions.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.