Rep. Tim Ryan and author JD Vance host U.S. Senate debate in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Ryan and Republican JD Vance meet Monday in Cleveland for the first of two scheduled debates in their closely watched race for the open U.S. Senate seat from Ohio.

Ryan, a 10-term congressman from the blue-collar Youngstown area, and Vance, a venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” a memoir of his upbringing in Appalachia in Ohio and Kentucky, are vying for the seat held by retired GOP Sen. Rob Portman.

Democrats view the Nov. 8 race as one of their best chances nationwide to flip a seat. Ryan significantly outclassed Vance in an increasingly Republican state that voted twice for Donald Trump for president.

Ryan ended the last fundraising period which ended June 30 with $3.6 million in the bank, compared to Vance’s $630,000. Last week, the Ryan campaign reported raising $17.2 million between July 1 and the end of September. Vance, who received help in the primary from billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, did not release his latest totals.

Former President Donald Trump’s last-minute endorsement in the combative Republican primary secured Vance a victory in May amid a crowded field, which included a former Republican Party chairman and former state treasurer. ‘State.

Both Vance and Ryan appealed to moderates and members of the opposing party in their victory speeches. Ryan has sought to distance himself from President Joe Biden at times, including speaking out against his recent student loan forgiveness proposal – though Vance is likely to tie the two up during Monday’s debate.

Meanwhile, Vance now embraces and has campaigned with Trump, despite lambasting the then-president in 2016. Those earlier statements have prompted some Republicans in Ohio to try to talk Trump out of his endorsement.

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