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Ohio Democratic Representative Tim Ryan addresses gerrymandering and PFAS at Grand Rapids event

Tim Ryan
Bryce Huffman
/
Michigan Radio
U.S. Representative from Ohio, and presidential candidate, Tim Ryan.

Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan believes gerrymandering could have a big impact on the 2020 election.

The Ohio congressman spoke at a Kent County Democratic Party event in Grand Rapids on Saturday.

Ryan says he believes another two or three congressional seats from each state could swing to the left.

“And if you put that on top of what happened in the last election, we could solidify a long term majority,” Ryan said.

Federal judges recently ruled that Michigan and Ohio’s congressional maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. The judges ordered both states to redraw their maps.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan have appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ryan also spoke about PFAS contamination in Michigan, saying the Department of Defense and private companies that are responsible for contamination should pay for cleanup efforts. He says it is important to hold responsible parties accountable, even though that could take some time.

“The potential effects to kids that we’re seeing, and the families, we’ve got to be very clear that this is their responsibility to clean it up,” he said.

The industrial chemicals have been found at high levels in drinking water, surface water and groundwater at numerous sites around the state. The chemicals have been used in firefighting foam, and in consumer products that are water and stain resistant.

The group of chemicals has been linked to health issues such as thyroid problems and kidney and testicular cancer.

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