Ohio Sports Team Owners to Host Fundraiser for Middletown Native J.D. Vance's Senate Campaign

Tickets are $500- $10,000.

click to enlarge Ohio Sports Team Owners to Host Fundraiser for Middletown Native J.D. Vance's Senate Campaign
Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Fresh off the suspension of franchise quarterback and serial masseuse abuser DeShaun Watson, Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam will co-host a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, the Middletown native, Hillbilly Elegy author and venture capitalist born again as a MAGA firebrand.

The Haslams will join Columbus-area orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter Edwards, former JobsOhio Director Mark Kvamme, members of the dynastic Columbus Schottenstein family and others in the Sept. 21 event at the Athletic Club of Columbus.

Tickets range from $500 for individual attendees to $10,000 for the event chairs.
The Haslams have long been faithful Republican donors and have contributed handsomely to Ohio statewide candidates and Republican Political Action Committees in 2021 and 2022. Proceeds from the Sept. 21 fundraiser, in fact, will be split between Vance and the Ohio Republican Party.

In an email, a lifeless Vance invited Columbus-area donors to the Sept. 21 event.

"We’re now just 68 days out from Election Day, and I hope to have your hevlp in the final stretch," the email read. "Recent polling shows that I am ahead, but we have to keep pushing to compete with the millions of dollars being spent by my opponent [Democrat Tim Ryan]. If I have the funds to stay on the air and get my message out, I will win."

Vance's message emerges from an adopted extremist social conservativism that includes such hallmarks as supporting total bans on abortion and porn. In one controversial appearance — at a Christian high school — Vance was railing against divorce and the disintegration of the nuclear family and implied that women in unhappy "or even violent" marriages should remain in them to prevent dysfunction and future unhappiness for their children. He has run what some Republican strategists and commentators have called "the worst campaign you can possibly run.
Vance is a former never-Trump candidate who nevertheless 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's book Hillbilly Elegy often is credited with foretelling Trump's rise to political power but also is frequently criticized for not depicting Appalachian life authentically.

Vance will battle Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat, for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat in November.
A version of this story originally was published by CityBeat sister newspaper Cleveland Scene.

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