By Jim Carney
Beacon Journal staff writer
Democrat Tim Ryan was elected to his fifth term in Congress on Tuesday.
Ryan, 37, defeated Republican Jim Graham and Independent former U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant in the 17th District, which covers portions of Mahoning, Portage, Summit and Trumbull counties, and includes the cities of Youngstown, Warren, Tallmadge and portions of Akron.
''I would just like to thank all the wonderful people who have supported me throughout this campaign,'' Ryan said. ''While I am thrilled with this victory, I believe this is a strong endorsement of my work to promote economic development, support research and new technologies, encourage innovation, and improve access to education.''
Ryan said that although ''there is much work left to do, I believe we are on the right track toward creating a brighter future for the residents and businesses in northeastern Ohio.''
Ryan, of Niles, a Bowling Green State University and Franklin Pierce Law Center graduate, once worked as an aide to Traficant.
He is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Graham, 57, a pharmacist from Cortland, was seeking his first political office.
His decision to run for Congress came as result of opposition to the health-reform bill that was passed in December.
Traficant, 69, of Poland, a former sheriff and longtime congressman from the Mahoning valley, spent seven years in federal prison for corruption.
Ryan raised more money and outspent Graham. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Ryan, as of Oct. 13, had raised about $1 million and spent slightly more than that.
Graham raised $62,548 and spent just $48,034.