JD Vance Wins Hard-Fought GOP Senate Primary, Will Face Off Against Rep. Tim Ryan In November

(Gaelen Morse/Getty Images) (Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival )

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Venture capitalist and best-selling author JD Vance defeated six other candidates to win the Ohio Republican Senate primary and will face off against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in November.

A first-time candidate, Vance received just over 30% of the primary vote on Tuesday. Former state Treasurer Josh Mandel came in second, and state Sen. Matt Dolan finished third. A Trafalgar Group poll conducted the weekend before the election found Vance leading the field with 26%, following by Dolan with 22% and Mandel in third with 21%.

CINCINNATI, OH – MAY 3: Supporters watch election returns as they attend a primary election night event for J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, at Duke Energy Convention Center on May 3, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Former President Donald Trump recently endorsed J.D. Vance in the Ohio Republican Senate primary. Other candidates in the Republican Senate primary field include Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, Jane Timken, Matt Dolan and Mark Pukita. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson emerged as a strong supporter of Vance’s candidacy. Vance is a regular guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Carlson reportedly lobbied Trump to endorse Vance.

“The Republican Party is getting better, much better,” Carlson said shortly after Vance announced his candidacy. “We know that because of two new Republican Senate candidates. The first is J.D. Vance in Ohio and the second in the state of Arizona, Blake Masters is running.”

“I probably shouldn’t say this, I’m really glad you’re doing it,” Carlson told Vance in a later interview. “I admire you and I wish you luck, very much.”

Vance initially struggled to break through in the crowded field, with early polling finding him with low name recognition and a perception among voters that he was a moderate candidate opposed to former President Donald Trump. However, Vance’s polling rose in recent weeks, buoyed by endorsements from influential Republicans including Trump and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley. (RELATED: JD Vance’s Campaign Gets New Life After Trump Endorsement)

Despite working as a venture capitalist and business partner of Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, Vance has embraced an anti-Big Tech message throughout his campaign. The Hillbilly Elegy memoirist has repeatedly called for the U.S. government to break up tech companies, and accused Google of “actively conspiring with and working with the Chinese government.”

Ryan, on the other hand, handily won the Democratic primary with more than 70% support. His two opponents, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau employee Morgan Harper and tech executive Traci Johnson, both struggled to gain traction. They finished in second and third, respectively. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Returns To Politics With $2,900 Minimum Donation Fundraiser For Dem Senate Candidate)

Ryan has released campaign ads calling out members of his own party for supporting the “Defund the Police” movement and trade with China. During his 2020 presidential campaign, Ryan praised Trump’s criticism of China and blasted Joe Biden’s view of the country as “stunningly out of touch.”