From William Henry Harrison (the ninth president) to Warren G. Harding (the 29th), Ohio can lay claim to eight U.S. presidents.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, hopes to be the ninth.

But a lot has to go right from now to the first caucus in Iowa to the party convention and finally the national election for Ryan to become the 46th president of the United States.

Ryan, 45, announced his bid for the 2020 presidential race Thursday online and on ABC's "The View."

Reaction was swift from naysayers and supporters alike.

Ryan's oddly shaped U.S. congressional district roughly snakes its way along Interstate 76 from Youngstown to Akron and covers some of the same spots where Presidents James A. Garfield and William McKinley forged their political careers.

His announcement comes amid the backdrop of the last GM vehicle rolling off the assembly line in Lordstown in the heart of Ryan's district.

The idling of some 1,400 workers there has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump who attacked the automaker and the union representing the workers.

"In Ohio, unchecked corporate greed and broken promises from the White House have plunged our manufacturing industry into deep crisis, crippling our housing market and forcing working families to leave the state," Ryan said in his Wednesday announcement. "The story repeats itself throughout the country."

The declaration came on the same day that Trump railed via Twitter that the Democrats are creating a "witch hunt" to perpetuate the "Russian Collusion Hoax."

He proclaimed in all capital letters that "THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS THE PARTY OF THE AMERICAN DREAM."

Ryan for his part said Trump and other politicians are simply out of touch with the daily struggles of most Americans.

"The devastating stress and anxiety that comes with living paycheck to paycheck, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take your child to the doctor has fractured and divided our communities across the nation," Ryan asserted. "We have to fix it."

As for Ryan's chances of winning the Democratic nomination, Republicans say his 16 quiet years in Congress speak loudly.

"Tim Ryan is a congressional backbencher who has no chance of becoming president," offered up Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens. "You can just add him to the long list of liberal candidates demanding government-run health care, and it underscores how radical and out of touch this Democratic field truly is."

Fellow Ohio Democrat and once a potential contender in the race, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, was a bit more kind.

He declined to speculate on Ryan's chances of winning, instead offering hope that Ryan would embrace the "dignity of work" message that Brown has championed.

Brown said he's talked to "a number of presidential candidates" already.

"Their path to the nomination is talking about workers and respecting and honoring work and their path to beating Trump and serving, and to me it's more than a slogan," Brown said.

Ryan spent last weekend with some of the presidential candidates in northwest Iowa.

He met with local Democrats and appeared at a forum on rural issues with four fellow Democrats who have announced White House bids including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former U.S. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

Iowa, with its first-in-the-nation caucus, is considered a key state for jump-starting a run for president.

At least one Ohio mayor believes workers and quality jobs are something that needs to be part of the national discussion.

“I think his running will help this discussion around manufacturing, around Lordstown, around lack of conversation in the center of the country about quality jobs," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

So for now Ryan has to focus on building up name recognition beyond Ohio and those who may remember his failed bid to unseat Nancy Pelosi as House leader in 2016.

And then there's the matter of raising tens of millions of dollars to get a competitive campaign up and running.

He is already asking for donations on his new campaign website timryanforamerica.com where slogans like "Our Future Is Now" and "Rebuilding the American Dream" are prominently featured.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said he considers Ryan "a genuine, good guy" and a friend.

“Tim has been a steadfast partner and advocate for Akron on several critical projects, from helping us secure more than $13 million in federal TIGER grants for the Main Street Promenade and collaborating alongside us on the eBay Retail Revival program, to bringing Silicon Valley investors to Bounce during his Comeback Cities tour," Horrigan said. "As a Midwestern leader, Tim appreciates what matters to middle and working class families — economic opportunity, a fair playing field, and policies that lift up Americans of all generations.

"Here in the Heartland, we have been forced to weather the challenges of the recession and housing crisis, and rebuild our communities through innovation, collaboration and old-fashioned hard work. We have the grit and creativity to overcome partisanship and get things done — something Washington, D.C., could use a little more of."

GateHouse Ohio reporters contributed to this article. Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.