Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan won’t run for Ohio governor in 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has decided against running for governor next year, leaving Ohio Democrats on a continued quest for a candidate to lead their 2018 ticket.

Ryan announced his decision Tuesday. In a statement, Ryan say he’s was “truly humbled by the encouragement” to run for governor but decided that remaining in Congress is his best way to serve the community he represents.

Mahoning Valley voters have handily returned the 43-year-old Ryan to Congress eight times. That popularity, combined with the recent rise in Ryan’s national profile after a bid to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH’-see), had fueled interest in recruiting him for a gubernatorial run.

At least three high-profile Republicans already are positioning to seek the office.