J.D. Vance, Tim Ryan to Compete for Ohio's U.S. Senate Seat in November

The Republican and Democratic primary races for Ohio's soon-vacant U.S. Senate seat couldn't have been more different.

click to enlarge J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan will fight to take the departing Rob Portman's U.S. Senate seat for Ohio.
J.D. Vance and Tim Ryan will fight to take the departing Rob Portman's U.S. Senate seat for Ohio.

The Republican and Democratic primary races for Ohio's soon-vacant U.S. Senate seat couldn't have been more different.

Republican

Middletown native J.D. Vance conquered a swath of opponents for the Republican nod after a contentious, frequently head-scratching campaign. As of 10 p.m. May 3, Vance is the projected winner with 236,450 votes – 31.5% of Republican ballots cast –and 78% of precincts reporting. Multiple media outlets have called the race for Vance.

Vance, a venture capitalist who wrote Hillbilly Elegy, is a former never-Trump candidate who nevertheless recently received an endorsement from controversial former U.S. President Donald Trump. Like most other Republican candidates, Vance has pushed far-right views on public health, abortion and immigration and falsely claimed that the 2020 general election was illegitimate, but only after previously blasting Trump.

Vance defeated former state treasurer Josh Mandel, another far-right politician who was assumed to be the frontrunner for the primary nod. Mandel has 190,600 votes, or 24%, as of press time.


Democrat

Rep. Tim Ryan is projected to get the nomination for the Democrats. As of 10:15 p.m., he has nearly 269,000 votes, good for 70.5% of party ballots. With 60% of precincts reporting, multiple outlets have called Ryan as the winner.

Ryan has served 10 terms in congress and was the leading candidate throughout the primary campaign. Though well liked, he has raised the ire of some Democratic voters with some of his positions, such as anti-China messaging in ads and his agreement with Trump on some issues, and he has received flack for taking donations from large energy corporations when more Democrats are pushing to address the climate emergency.

Unlike the Republicans, Ryan faced only two other Democrats on the primary ballot on May 3. As of press time, progressive attorney Morgan Harper has 72,269 votes and 17.4%, while former civil servant and business owner Traci “TJ” Johnson has 51,000 and 12% of the vote.


All results are preliminary until certified. As the presumed party winners, Vance and Ryan will face off in the general election on Nov. 8. The winner will begin serving as U.S. Senator on Jan. 4. The winner will take current Republican U.S. Senator and Cincinnati native Rob Portman's seat. For election results and information, visit Ohio's secretary of state website.

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