Free concert for Tim Ryan starts final two weeks of campaigning in close Ohio US Senate race
With polls showing Ohio’s US Senate race is deadlocked, the next two weeks of campaigning will likely be intense. Last night several thousand people came out to hear Dave Matthews perform for free to rally for Democratic candidate Tim Ryan.
The line to get into the free show snaked around the Kemba Live venue, with Aneesa Bhimani-Trimble of Dayton at the front of it. She and her crew had arrived before noon.
“We’re big Dave Matthews Band fans and we appreciate the politics that will be talked about tonight," Bhimani-Trimble said.
John Low and his wife Anne came from Sunbury with five-year-old Kameron.
“He’s our son and he’s our future and he’s a little Dave Matthews Band fan," said Low.
Tom Jaeger is retired from the Air Force and lives in Scioto County.
“Personally, I wasn’t familiar with Dave Matthews because I spent all of the ‘90s overseas," said Jaeger, who added that he took time to listen to Matthews' music over the weekend. “I’m glad we got the opportunity to learn about him and come and listen to him.”
Denny Dibacco turned up sporting a shirt bearing the word "hero" under the likeness of the late Jim Traficant, the legendary Youngstown politician who was expelled from Congress in 2002 and did seven years in prison for bribery and other charges.
“I think that he’s kind of following the footsteps of my man here. I think he’s a hero. A lot of people in Youngstown do, obviously," Dibacco said.
Tim Ryan was one of Traficant’s aides, and won Traficant’s district in 2002.
Another familiar Mahoning Valley figure at the rally was former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Ryan and JD Vance, the Republican endorsed by former president Trump earlier this year, have been battling for the lead in an expensive US Senate race that polls show is very close. That’s gotten the contest national attention.
Dave Matthews has been doing similar “get out the vote” shows for Democratic candidates around the country. He'll perform on Wednesday in Pittsburgh for Democratic US Senate candidate John Fetterman, who's running in a tight race against Mehmet Oz, also a Trump-endorsed Republican.