Ryan, Vance to Face Off for Senate Seat
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan told supporters Tuesday night he wants Ohio to become a global “economic powerhouse” that would “leapfrog” China and other countries.
Ryan shared a message that linked economic prosperity with unity in Columbus following his victory in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.
The Associated Press declared Ryan, D-13 Ohio, the winner of the Democratic primary just before 8 p.m., more than an hour and a half before the news service predicted venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance would win the GOP nomination for the seat.
The victory made Ryan the first Mahoning Valley resident to win a U.S. Senate nomination. U.S. Sen. Marcus A. Hanna was born and grew up in New Lisbon in Columbiana County, now known as Lisbon, before moving to Cleveland as an adult. He served in the Senate in the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Shortly after the Ohio polls closed at 7:30 p.m., the Ohio Secretary of State’s website showed Ryan with 68.03% of the votes cast, compared with 23.08% for his closet competitor, Morgan Harper and 8.88% for Traci TJ Johnson. By just before the AP’s 8 p.m. call, the website showed him at 72.11%, Harper at 16.39% and Johnson at 11.5%.
At 10:39 p.m., with just over 7,800 of the state’s 8,951 precincts reporting, Ryan was winning with 70.3% of the vote, followed by Harper with 17.44% and Johnson with 12.19%.
In final unofficial results, Ryan took 84.73% of the vote in Mahoning County and 83.12% of the vote in Trumbull County, where he resides.
“I tell people look, I’m not here to get in a fight. I’m not going to win on Election Day and try to punish 50% of the people that are living in this state or in this country. We are here to heal,” he said in remarks that were live-streamed from a firehouse in Columbus.
“We are here to come together and I want Ohio to be the economic powerhouse of not just the United States but of the world. I want us to dominate the electric car industry. I want us to dominate the battery industry. I want us to dominate the electric truck industry. I want us to dominate the chip industry, the glass industry,” he continued. “We can do it by coming together. … We have to forgive each other. We have to show some grace. And we have to put workers front and center in the economy in the United States of America.”
Ryan, who was introduced by U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-3 Ohio, shared stories of his grandfather, a steelworker who he recalled didn’t have to work 70 hours per week at two jobs to make ends meet and had time to volunteer for his church. His favorite photo of his grandfather shows him helping build the elementary school that Ryan and his brother attended, “literally building our future,” he recalled.
“That’s what this campaign is about. I’m just doing a little bit different version of that. We’re trying to build a future for our kids. And it doesn’t come from us hating each other. It doesn’t come from us, looking at each other and seeing a Democrat or seeing a Republican. It comes by us looking at each other and seeing Americans.”
Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters released the following statement congratulating Tim Ryan on his victory:
“Tim understands that all work has dignity, and he has spent his career fighting for a fair shot for Ohio workers” Walters said.
“As Ohio’s next U.S. senator, Tim will keep working alongside 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. 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.”
Vance, who saw his prospects surge after being endorsed by former President Donald Trump, called his win a “tremendous victory for the America First movement here in Ohio that is sure to be heard around the country” in a fundraising email after being declared the winner of his party’s nomination.
At 10:42 p.m., Vance had 32.2% of the vote, followed by former state treasurer Josh Mandel with 23.99% and state Sen. Matt Dolan with 23.04%. Others in the race were former Ohio GOP chairwoman Jane Timken, whom Portman endorsed, and businessman Mike Gibbons.
“While it’s important that we take a moment to acknowledge what we’ve accomplished, it’s even more critical that we recognize how much work still lies ahead,” Vance said in the email. In November, he will “once again have to fight for the future of our state” against Ryan, who he described as a “radical socialist.”
Vance, who benefited from considerable donations from tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, also characterized his Democratic rival a “formidable opponent backed by Hillary Clinton and her billionaire donors.”
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik congratulated his party’s nominee.
“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,” he said in an emailed statement.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.