Vance, Ryan win their U.S. Senate primary races in Ohio

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp., left, and Republican businessman J.D. Vance won their party primaries for the U.S. Senate race.

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U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp., left, and Republican businessman J.D. Vance won their party primaries for the U.S. Senate race.

Republican businessman J.D. Vance and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp., have won their party primaries for U.S. Senate.

Ryan finished with nearly 70% of the vote, and Vance had just over 32%, according to final, unofficial results reported by the Ohio Secretary of State.

Vance, a Cincinnati businessman and author, was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and the Ohio race was seen as a litmus test for Trump’s ability to help his chosen candidates win. Polls showed Vance trailing in third or fourth place when Trump endorsed him on April 15.

“The people who are caught between the corrupt political class of the left and right, they need a voice. The need a representative and that’s going to be me,” Vance said in his victory speech Tuesday night.

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JD Vance speaks on stage with his wife, Usha Vance, after winning the Ohio GOP primary for U.S. Senate. WCPO

JD Vance speaks on stage with his wife, Usha Vance, after winning the Ohio GOP primary for U.S. Senate. WCPO

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JD Vance speaks on stage with his wife, Usha Vance, after winning the Ohio GOP primary for U.S. Senate. WCPO

“Congratulations to J.D. Vance on winning a hard-fought primary,” said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik. “Ohio Republicans can be confident that they have chosen a battle-tested conservative fighter who will stop Joe Biden’s failed policies that are hurting Ohio’s workers and families. Ohio Republicans are ready to hit the ground running to ensure J.D. defeats Tim Ryan in November.”

Ryan, a member of Congress representing a predominantly blue collar district since 2003, campaigned on a pro-worker platform and frequently criticized past trade deals and China for sending American jobs overseas.

“I want Ohio to be the economic powerhouse of not just the United states, but of the world,” Ryan said in a victory speech Tuesday night, adding that his goal is to make the U.S. “the manufacturing capital of the world.”

“We have to put workers front and center in the economy of the United States of America,” Ryan said in the speech that also included calls for bipartisan unity.

The other Republican candidates are former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel of Beachwood, who had nearly 24% of the vote; state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, 23%; businessman Mike Gibbons of Fairview Park, more than 11%; former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken of Canton, nearly 6%; businessman Mark Pukita of Dublin, about 2% and businessman Neil Patel of Westerville, just under 1%.

“JD Vance and I have debated our differences, and in this hard fought campaign he was successful,” Dolan said in a tweet. “Just as I will never quit fighting for Ohio, I now pledge to unite our party and endorse JD Vance to be our next U.S. Senator.”

Timken thanked her supporters.

“While tonight’s results are disappointing, I am incredibly proud of the race we’ve run. From day one, I’ve focused on a campaign for Ohio, in Ohio, fueled by Ohioans, and that grassroots support was evident throughout.”

Gibbons congratulated Vance and said he would support him.

“As Republicans we must unite to ensure our values are represented in Washington,” Gibbons said.

The other Democratic primary candidates are Columbus attorney Morgan Harper, who had nearly 18% of the vote, and businesswoman Traci “TJ” Johnson of Hilliard, who had more than 12%

“I just spoke with Congressman Ryan and congratulated him on his primary win,” Harper tweeted. “Thank you so much to our amazing team, and our supporters, volunteers, and Morganizers across Ohio and around the country!”

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters also congratulated Ryan on his win.

“Tim understands that all work has dignity, and he has spent his career fighting for a fair shot for Ohio workers. As Ohio’s next U.S. Senator, Tim will keep working alongside (U.S. Sen.) Sherrod Brown to level the playing field and invest in our state so that we can out-compete China and create more opportunities for working families in every corner of our state — a far cry from any of the unaccountable and out of touch millionaires vying for the GOP nomination in this race,” Walters said. “The stakes of this election could not be higher, and we look forward to doing all we can to flip this seat and send a second pro-worker champion to the Senate.”

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The winner of General Election on Nov. 8 will replace U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is retiring.

The Democrats support increasing the minimum wage, reforming the filibuster, continuing humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine, federal support for child care and universal preschool, funding for COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines, and increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for initiatives they say will help everyday people. The Democratic Party candidates also support immigration reform that would give a path to citizenship to the estimated 11 million immigrants now in the U.S. illegally.

The falsehood that Trump won the 2020 presidential election dominated the Republican race.

Dolan is the only Republican candidate who says Biden was legitimately elected president. Vance, Mandel, Gibbons, Patel and Pukita all say without evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Timken alleges there were irregularities and fraud and called for more investigations of the election.

Multiple investigations, election audits and court rulings nationwide, along with Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr, found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems. Congress certified Biden’s win hours after Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, assaulted the U.S. Capitol and fought police in an effort to stop it.

Immigration is another big issue for the Republican candidates, all saying they want to build a wall at the southwestern border to keep out immigrants and drugs.

The GOP candidates blame Biden for inflation, criticize his energy policies and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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