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Lindsey Graham stumps for J.D. Vance in Ohio as election day nears

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tours Ohio to campaign with J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on October 25, 2022.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) tours Ohio to campaign with J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on October 25, 2022.

A group of people gathered in a Columbus hotel conference room to see J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator, join U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) for a campaign stop on Tuesday.

Vance is endorsed by former president Trump. Graham has been subpoenaed to testify before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state.

Several in attendance said they were there to support Vance because of his stance on issues such as immigration, the economy, and energy.

“It’s got to change. Our economy, the border, all of these things are so important,” said Cheryl Kitson of Westerville, who added that she is excited to vote for Vance in November.

Ann Marie Hunker of Powell added: “the direction of our country” to the list of things that must change after this election.

Hunker said federal money could be better spent in places other than Ukraine, such as in Florida where people have been displaced by Hurricane Ian.

“To me, we should focus on rebuilding Florida before we focus on building Ukraine,” Hunker said.

Kitson and Hunker were sitting in the front row for the campaign event, joined by first-time voter Nevaeh Fernan.

Fernan, a 19-year-old from Columbus, said she was there to learn more about the process and the candidates running for U.S. Senate. Fernan said she is excited to have the opportunity to cast her vote.

“It feels empowering. Now you have the chance. Now you can express how you feel and you can help change the world the way it’s supposed to be,” said Fernan.

Fernan said she did not yet know who she would be voting for in the U.S. Senate race between Vance and Tim Ryan, the Democratic candidate.

Read: Free concert for Tim Ryan starts final two weeks of campaigning in close Ohio US Senate race

When Vance arrived, he called on the group of supporters to keep up the good work of making phone calls, campaigning, and getting the word out before election day.

“We’ve been telling the truth about Tim Ryan, we’ve been correcting his lies about me and about my record and because of that, two weeks out from this race, we are ahead, ladies and gentleman,” said Vance. “We’re going to win this race.”

Graham said the U.S. Senate race in Ohio has become vital for Republicans, not only to regain control of the Senate but to take momentum into the 2024 presidential race.

“If you have both bodies, not only do you change the policy structure of the Biden agenda, you also begin to shape the debate for 2024,” said Graham.

Vance and Graham made several stops around Ohio on Tuesday. Vance has said during the U.S. Senate debates with Ryan that he would support a 15-week, national abortion ban which is sponsored by Graham.

Ryan joined Dave Matthews Monday for a campaign event in Columbus. Matthews, who has been stumping for Democratic candidates around the country, hosted a free concert to support Ryan.

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