NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

JD Vance beats Tim Ryan in the 2022 Ohio Senate Race

JD Vance defeat­ed Tim Ryan in the race for Ohio’s Sen­ate seat this evening.  With 93% of the vote tal­lied, Repub­li­can JD Vance defeat­ed Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­ber of Con­gress Tim Ryan by 54% to 46%.

This seat became open when incum­bent Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Rob Port­man announced that he would not run for re-election.

Tim Ryan has rep­re­sent­ed Ohio’s 17th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict from 2003 to 2013, after defeat­ing both his Repub­li­can oppo­nent and the pre­vi­ous Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent for the seat, Jim Traf­fi­cant, who had been expelled from the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives after being con­vict­ed of var­i­ous fed­er­al charges and who ran his inde­pen­dent cam­paign from prison.  Since the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts in Ohio in 2011, Ryan has rep­re­sent­ed Ohio’s 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict. He has typ­i­cal­ly sup­port­ed con­ser­v­a­tive to mod­er­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic posi­tions on var­i­ous pol­i­cy issues, and he chal­lenged unsuc­cess­ful­ly for the posi­tion of Speak­er of the House against Nan­cy Pelosi after the 2016 elec­tions. He eas­i­ly won elec­tion in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­ate primary.

The Repub­li­can can­di­date, J.D. Vance, is a lawyer, for­mer ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist and author of Hill­bil­ly Ele­gy, a book recount­ing his youth and relat­ing it to the prob­lems affect­ing Appalachi­an white low­er work­ing class and poor peo­ple. He moved back to Ohio in 2016 and cre­at­ed a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm with sup­port from Marc Andreessen and Peter Theil. (Theil has been a fun­der of a num­ber of Repub­li­can con­gres­sion­al cam­paigns this elec­tion cycle.) When he ran for the Repub­li­can Sen­ate pri­ma­ry, he was endorsed by Don­ald Trump, but it was very hard going in the sev­en-way race until the two then-lead­ing can­di­dates, Josh Man­del and Mike Gib­bons, focused their attacks on one anoth­er, with Gib­bons los­ing sup­port after­ward. Man­del then attacked ris­ing can­di­date Matt Dolan,  allow­ing Vance to slide by with a nar­row victory.

Both cam­paigns were not afraid to pro­vide hard-hit­ting messaging.

Ryan attacked Vance mer­ci­less­ly for the fail­ure and even­tu­al clo­sure of a non­prof­it, Our Ohio Renew­al, he had cre­at­ed to help Ohio res­i­dents regard­ing job­less­ness, addic­tion to opoids and result­ing bro­ken fam­i­lies, while at the same time hir­ing into the orga­ni­za­tion Dr. Sal­ly Satel, who has ques­tioned the role of pre­scrip­tion painkillers in the opi­oid cri­sis and who has close ties to Pur­due Phar­ma, the pro­duc­er of one of the worst addic­tive opi­oids, Oxy­con­tin, which recent­ly set­tled for a $6 bil­lion set­tle­ment in return for no fur­ther law­suits are charges against the com­pa­ny or its own­ers, the Sack­ler fam­i­ly. He also said that if Vance lost, he would go back to Cal­i­for­nia or over to Wash­ing­ton DC, accen­tu­at­ing the impres­sion that Vance was an oppor­tunis­tic carpetbagger.

But its also hurt Ryan occa­sion­al­ly, as when he attacked Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing and received some back­lash from Asian-Amer­i­can groups con­cerned that such com­ments would per­pet­u­ate or increase acts of vio­lence against Asian-Amer­i­can indi­vid­u­als. Vance was not afraid to go fur­ther on the top­ic, at one point say­ing “We have to stop send­ing Amer­i­can jobs to peo­ple who hate us.”

Both have also been sup­port­ers of stricter immi­gra­tion con­trols and bor­der secu­ri­ty, with Vance direct­ly relat­ing these issues to increased access to the dead­ly drug fen­tanyl and imply­ing that the Biden admin­is­tra­tion delib­er­ate­ly allowed it to pass through the south­ern bor­der as an oppor­tunis­tic way to kill sup­port­ers of for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Both can­di­dates and their cam­paigns accused their oppo­nent of car­ing more about their nation­al par­ty than the needs of Ohio vot­ers, Ryan tying Vance to for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump, radio host Alex Jones and the Jan­u­ary 6th attack on the Capi­tol in Wash­ing­ton DC, and Vance tying Ryan to Pres­i­dent Joe Biden and the cost of infla­tion on work­ing families.


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