Best-selling author and venture capitalist JD Vance told several friends and colleagues that he will run for Senate in 2022, according to Axios.
Vance gained national prominence after publishing his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” in 2016. He declined a 2018 run against Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, but is planning to enter a crowded race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, multiple sources reportedly told Axios.
J.D. Vance tells associates he plans to run for Senate in Ohio https://t.co/2f9yNDWDHD
— Axios (@axios) April 15, 2021
Many political observers hailed Vance’s memoir as an explanation of former President Donald Trump’s support from working-class white voters. After a difficult childhood, Vance joined the Marines and went on to graduate from Yale Law School. He now works as an investment banker at Narya, a venture capital firm funded by Peter Thiel, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Marc Andreessen. Thiel donated $10 million to a Vance-supporting Super PAC in March. (RELATED: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Author J.D. Vance: ‘The Republican Party Doesn’t Actually Represent It’s Own Voters Very Well’)
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and state Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken have already declared their candidacies for Portman’s seat, as has Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno, who received an endorsement from former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell. Vance and Thiel privately met with former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago, Axios reported.
Vance may struggle with name recognition among the Ohio electorate. A Public Policy Polling survey of 700 Ohioans conducted on March 18 and 19 found that 71% of respondents did not have an opinion of Vance, while only 39% of respondents did not have an opinion of Mandel.