LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Using the Ultium Battery plant in Lordstown as a backdrop, a number of local union leaders withstood a cold rain Tuesday morning to endorse Democrat incumbent Tim Ryan for another term in Congress.
Western Reserve Building Trades President Marty Loney and others also used the occasion to criticize Ryan’s opponent Republican Christina Hagan.
“She continues to say she was working class. That’s on the backs of labor she was able to do that,” Loney said.
Tony Ditommaso, spokesperson for the Western Reserve Building Trades, brought up Hagan’s residency, an issue Ryan has been targeting.
“She’s just not from here. She doesn’t support the values that we talk about. She doesn’t support prevailing wage,” DiTommaso, spokesperson for Western Reserve Building Trades.
Hagan says she is not surprised Ryan brought union leaders out for support, adding that she us supported by union members, too.
“We are supported by a lot of union workers. A lot of tradesmen, a lot of individuals who do not feel Tim Ryan represents them,” Hagan said.
Loney claims over his tenure, Ryan has helped bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the district that have translated into thousands of jobs for local building trades members.
“The goal has been for the last 18 years is how do we position our local economy to be able to take advantage of industries that are growing,” Ryan said.
Hagan argues that Ryan’s real interest lies in voting himself more Congressional pay raises.
“We’ve seen job loss year after year. There is simply no disputing that. And for every job they claim he’s helped create, there are at least 100 jobs that have been lost,” Hagan said
With just two weeks left before Election Day, the back and forth is only likely to become more intense.