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Tim Ryan drops out of the 2020 presidential race, leaving 18 Democratic candidates

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Rep. Tim Ryan speaking to voters during an Iowa City campaign stop at Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, May 31, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Rep. Tim Ryan announced on Thursday he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, reducing the number of Democrats still running for their party’s nomination to 18.

The Ohio Democrat explained in a video posted on Twitter, “I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country.”

Ryan, however, not only failed to give an audible voice to “the forgotten” during his seven-month campaign — he couldn’t even make sure his fellow Democrats remembered he was running. The Johnson County Democratic Party said it invited all the candidate to its Fall BBQ Fundraiser earlier this month, but in press releases issued on Oct. 11 and 12, it listed 17 candidates, but not Ryan. (None of the candidates ended up attending the event.)

Ryan attempted to position himself as a somewhat progressive, but thoroughly moderate, pragmatist. But 10 other Democrat candidates have also tried to present themselves as that sort of candidate during 2020 race. He also failed to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic debates.

Ryan never made much of an impression on voters either at the national level or locally in Iowa City or Cedar Rapids. He held one campaign event in Iowa City, and he only visited Cedar Rapids twice. In June, he was one of 19 candidates at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame ceremony at the Cedar Rapids’ DoubleTree, and the following month he was one of 12 candidates at Progress Iowa’s Corn Feed at NewBo City Market.

Ryan’s departure follows that of Rep. Eric Swalwell (who dropped out of the 2020 race on July 8), Sen. Mike Gravel (Aug. 6), John Hickenlooper (Aug. 15), Gov. Jay Inslee (Aug. 21), Rep. Seth Moulton (Aug. 23), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (Aug. 28), and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Sept. 20).

In his video, Ryan said he would continue to advocate on behalf of working people, and intends to run for reelection to Congress next year.


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