April 23 (UPI) -- Rep. Tim Ryan, who said he was inspired to join the 2020 race for president earlier this month after a General Motors plant closed in his district, is separating himself from a large field of competitors by shying away from socialism.
The Ohio representative announced his bid April 4 by calling for solutions in Washington, D.C., to help families who are financially insecure and unable to pay for food or healthcare.
Two weeks after his announcement, Ryan said he's "concerned" by a recent CNN poll that showed more Democratic voters view socialism positively than those who view capitalism positively.
"I'm concerned about it. Because if we are going to de-carbonize the American economy, it's not going to be some centralized bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., that's going to make it happen," he told CNN. "It's going to be part targeted government investments that do need to be robust. But it's going to be the free market that's going -- at the end of the day -- is going to make that happen."
Ryan is among several candidates and congressional colleagues seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge GOP President Donald Trump.
A native of Niles, Ohio, Ryan studied political science at Bowling Green State University and earned a law degree from the University of New Hampshire.
Ryan won his first political race in 2000, when he joined the Ohio Senate.
In 2002, he won the U.S. House seat of expelled Rep. Jim Traficant, for whom Ryan worked as a staffer after college. Ryan has been re-elected to represent the 17th congressional district five times.
Ryan sits on the House Committee on Appropriations, and is a member of several caucuses, including the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, Congressional Arts Caucus, Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus and the Sportsmen's Caucus.
Ryan, 45, and his wife of three years, Andrea Zetts, share three children, including two from Zetts' previous relationship.
On the issues
Ryan's campaign website describes him as "an independent, no-nonsense congressman" focused on fixing the economy and helping American workers. He's called for raising the national minimum wage to $15 per hour, closing the gender wage gap, improving family and medical leave and protecting workplace rights for pregnant women.
He's in favor of keeping the Affordable Care Act and supports increased investments in healthcare research and development. He also introduced the Expansion of Nutrition's Role in Curricula and Healthcare Act, which would increase training on the importance of nutrition for American doctors.
Ryan supports community-oriented policing programs, reforming the criminal justice system, investment in education and after-school programs, renewable energy, improving healthcare for service members and veterans and reinvestment in infrastructure.