If you like Hillary Rodham Clinton then you thought she won Monday night’s one-on-one debate with her lone Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders with a strong and convincing debate performance that showed her breadth and range.

If you don’t like Hillary Rodham Clinton, you won’t think she won, but you’ll still have to admit she more than held her own, as Sen. Sanders went at her full throttle, tying her to “Wall Street” and by extension his campaign’s core theme that the economy is “rigged” for the rich, with media hungry for a slip up watching for gaffes and errors.

With first-in-the-nation voting set for next Tuesday, candidates often crisscross the small state with others in tow who want to speak up for them. Count Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) in that class, as he heads east to join the former Secretary of State to meet Granite State voters.

Rep. Ryan is joining Clinton after her debate performance during which she spoke about support for workers, defending women and protecting families.

Congressman Ryan is expected to focus on Mrs. Clinton’s broad experience, from her time as First Lady for two terms under her husband Bill Clinton’s presidency, to two terms in the U.S. Senate representing the State of New York that included the Ground Zero attacks, to her term as Secretary of State for President Obama. Ryan will also bolster her ability, as the first woman to be elected president, to do the job in every way.

“Hillary Clinton is a true progressive with a track record of fighting for the middle class; fighting for those who are working to join the middle class; and getting things done to help make that happen,” Rep. Ryan said, in prepared remarks. “As a member of Congress, I respect her ability to stand up to those in Washington who want to derail our progress. As a father, I’m inspired by her work at the Children’s Defense Fund. And as a husband, I’m thankful for her efforts to promote women’s rights here and across the globe. That is why I am committed to helping her become president of the United States, and a president for every Ohioan. Because I believe in her work. I believe in her plans. And most importantly, I believe in her values.”

Ohio’s tradition of being the biggest battleground state to win if you want to win the white House will again be validated this year, so having friends like Congressman Ryan speak for you in New Hampshire, then again back in Ohio on primary day on March 15th, is a big plus. Rep. Ryan has been a strong voice for all the constituencies Mrs. Clinton is calling to come join her.

Who is a progressive or what being progressive means were flash points in the debate Monday night in Durham. As a socialist and independent, Sanders has held that redoubt throughout his career, but he got knocked off that perch when Clinton pointed out that by his own definition, other so-called progressives including Barack Obama or Joe Biden wouldn’t make the cut. In an effort to spread Clinton’s message and turn out voters ahead of next Tuesday’s primary, Rep. Ryan will be touring the small state as he meets with voters to share with them Hillary Clinton’s progressive policy agenda for a better future across the board.

Ryan, whose name shines bright as a future Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate, will finding talking about issues key to Clinton—guaranteeing women equal pay, making college affordable, raise wages, build not abandon President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, cut costs for prescription drugs, prevent gun violence, expand work opportunities—easy.

With 18 Electoral Collage votes that if won can push a candidate over the 270-vote White House finish line, Clinton could be well rewarded by Congressman Ryan and others to help her win the state this year like she did in 2008 when Ohio voters picked her over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

With that in mind, early voting for Ohio’s primary on March 15 begins in just two weeks on February 17.

 

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