Politics

Why Did Tim Ryan Hire Bernie Sanders Iowa Adviser?

Pete D’Allesandro was Iowa coordinator for Sanders’ narrow loss in Iowa in 2016

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, continued to make moves toward a 2020 presidential run, hiring a former Iowa adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan has hired Sen. Bernie Sanders’ former Iowa campaign coordinator, adding to speculation he is working toward a 2020 presidential run.

Ryan hired veteran Democrative operative Pete D’Alessandro, who worked for the Vermont senator in Iowa in 2016, ABC News reported, but D’Alessandro downplayed his role.

“I’m helping this guy anyway I can through the end of this year,” D’Allesandro said.

D’Alessandro said his assistance to Ryan is payback for Ryan campaigning for him in his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District against Cindy Axne.

“He was here quite a bit for me,” D’Allesandro said. “That’s how I do things, and that’s how this is being done for the rest of this year, at least.”

Sanders narrowly lost the Iowa caucuses to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Ryan has made several visits to Iowa, campaigning for Rep. Dave Loebsack.

Ryan also attended last year’s Polk County Steak Fry, the successor to former Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry, which was often a showcase for potential presidential candidates.

After the 2016 election, Ryan challenged Nancy Pelosi to become House Minority Leader but lost.

A report in the Intercept on Monday said Ryan was telling people he was considering a 2020 presidential run.

The report said Ryan would not only target working class whites, which has been a focus of his visits nationwide, but also the so-called “yoga vote.”

“The so-called yoga voters are the kind of folks who realize that while they grew up with their mom saying, ‘Pay attention,’ nobody trained them in how to pay attention and use their mind to focus on what’s important,”  James Gimian, the publisher of Mindful magazine, told the Intercept.

Ryan’s office would not comment on the Intercept story.

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