YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It could be weeks before Valley Congressman Tim Ryan knows what, if any, sort of retribution lies ahead for him following his failed challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Ryan managed to convince only about a third of the Democratic caucus members to vote for him on Wednesday. The Congressman had been pushing for changes in House leadership after Republicans held onto control of the majority, as well as sending Donald Trump to the White House.
Mahoning County Commissioner Anthony Traficanti knows what can happen to members who stand up to their party’s leadership.
He was working as an aide to then-Congressman Jim Traficant in 2001 when his boss voted for Republican Dennis Hastert for Speaker of the House over Democrat Richard Gephardt. Gephardt later retaliated and stripped Traficant of all his committee seats in Congress.
“When you’re challenging the likes of Nancy Pelosi, retaliation could in fact happen,” Traficanti said. “Whether she will do that, I don’t know, but that’s possible.”
Other local leaders say Ryan’s stand against House leadership was standing up for the Valley, however.
“Our people are getting upset because we’re not getting what other states get in monies to help us here,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Righetti.
Youngstown Mayor John McNally thinks if Ryan is able to keep the support that he did receive Wednesday, it could prove beneficial down the road.
“It may put you in a good spot to want to protect this area. You might be a swing block of votes for anything the President-elect and the Republican majority are seeking next year,” he said.
McNally said Ryan had little to lose by challenging Pelosi. Even Ryan predicts that the Minority Leader won’t want to retaliate against him and risk further splitting the caucus.
“A lot of people would be very, very offended by that, because whether or not they voted for me, there were a lot of people who wanted to have the conversation that I forced us to have,” Ryan said.
More will likely be known once Congress resumes for its next session in January.