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Republican J.D. Vance wins Ohio’s U.S. Senate race against Democrat Tim Ryan

Republican J.D. Vance has won his bid for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat, defeating Democrat Tim Ryan in a hotly-contested race that could help determine the balance of power in Congress.

Vance and Ryan have been vying for the seat left open by U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, who announced in January 2021 that he would not seek re-election.

Vance ran a campaign with a message focused on the economy, inflation, U.S. energy development, and immigration. He argued that policies from the Democratic-controlled U.S. House and U.S. Senate fueled the country’s rate of inflation.

Vance edged out Ryan 53% to 46%, based on unofficial results. He told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night in Columbus that he is ready to go to work in D.C.

"We've been given an opportunity to do something, and that's to govern. And to govern to make the lives of the people of Ohio better. That's exactly what I aim to do. And because of you, I get a chance to do it,” said Vance.

Vance took on a unifying tone during his acceptance speech, never mentioning the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. He thanked Ryan for a hard-fought campaign and he said he plans to be a senator who represents all Ohioans.

"Whoever's in the majority, whatever the president looks like, we have a very simple job to do. It's to go to work every single day and fight for the people of Ohio. Fight for our workers, fight for our families,” said Vance.

Ryan gained national attention for running a campaign strategy that did not necessarily fit the mold of a typical Democratic candidate.

Ryan emphasized the need to be tough on trade with China, to secure the southern border with Mexico, and his opposition to President Joe Biden on certain issues. That included saying that Biden should not run for re-election in 2024.

On election night, Ryan called Vance to concede the race.

“Because, the way this country operates is when you lose an election, you concede. And you respect the will of the people, right?" Ryan told his group of supporters during his election night event in Boardman. "We can’t have a system where if you win, it’s a legitimate election and if you lose, someone stole it. That is not how we can move forward in the United States.”

Ryan talked about how important it is for everyone to come together to work for the common good.

“We have too much hate. We have too much anger. There’s way too much fear. And there’s way too much division. And that we need more love. We need more compassion. We need more concern for each other,” Ryan said.

Both Vance and Ryan have been targeting moderate voters within their own parties and have put a lot of time in areas that were once considered Democratic strongholds that have since flipped Republican since Trump’s presidential run in 2016.

That included the Mahoning Valley, where Ryan has been a congressman for 20 years. Vance ended up winning the majority of the vote in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Contact Andy at achow@statehousenews.org.
Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.
Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.
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