Tim Ryan recently told Rolling Stone he rejected any "bullcrap" of Democrats not contesting Ohio.
The Democratic Senate nominee said that the idea of skipping over the state was "insulting."
As the campaign enters its final stretch, Ryan remains locked in a competitive race with JD Vance.
Ohio, once a perennial Midwestern bellwether state, has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Barack Obama was reelected to a second term in 2012.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, who was first elected to the upper chamber in 2006, is the rare Democratic statewide officeholder who has found longterm success in the increasingly Republican-leaning state.
And some Democrats have argued that funding for political candidates is better spent in newer swing states like Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina, as they see Ohio as having drifted beyond their reach.
It's a mindset that Rep. Tim Ryan, this year's Democratic Senate nominee, has wholeheartedly rejected — pointing to the need for the party to once again engage with the working-class voters who had traditionally been a major part of the party's base.
Ryan has run a highly competitive race against Republican Senate nominee JD Vance, surprising many Democrats who were skeptical that their nominee would be in contention to carry the Buckeye State this year.
The ten-term congressman, who represents the Mahoning Valley, which includes Youngstown, recently told Rolling Stone that he'd "fight anybody" who openly argued that purple-trending states with higher levels of college graduates were better electoral targets for the party.
"I will fight anybody from any party who's trying to peddle that bullcrap here in Ohio," he said during a stop at a union hall in Lima, a city in northwest Ohio. "If you need a college degree to get the passport to be able to go into the political party — no shot on my watch."
"It's so insulting," he added.
The congressman has barnstormed the state all year, forcing national Republicans to pour millions of dollars into a state that they believed they would not have to defend.
While Vance still retains many advantages — including potential coattails from the likely reelection victory of Gov. Mike DeWine and the GOP tint of the state's rural and exurban areas — Ryan has remained in the game.
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