CLEVELAND (WJW)– The race to fill Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Rob Portman took a big step forward on Tuesday with the primary.
The AP called Ryan as the winner of the Democratic nomination early in the evening. He faced activist Traci Johnson and consumer protection attorney Morgan Harper. Returns as of 8:30 p.m. showed Ryan with 73% of the vote.
After thanking his family and his staff, Ryan urged Ohioans to step up as they’ve done so many times throughout history.
“We’re trying to build a future for our kids and it doesn’t come from us hating each other. It doesn’t 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, fellow Americans,” Ryan told his supporters.
“I want Ohio to be the economic powerhouse of not only the United States, but of the world. I want us to be builders again. I want us to dominate the electric car industry. I want us to dominate the battery industry,” he said.
On the Republican side of the race, Vance secured the nomination. He surged late in polls following the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. He thanked Trump and applauded his former opponents, complimenting many of the people who ran against him during a sometimes tumultuous campaign.
“The party that we need to unify to defeat Tim Ryan is our Republican party. It’s the party of working people all across the state of Ohio. It needs to fight and it needs to win,” Vance said. “Tim Ryan, look at his TV ads, look at the things he’s doing. He’s running as a Trump Democrat.”
“We have such an opportunity in the state of Ohio because I think so many people, it’s not just Republicans, it’s moderates, it’s Democrats. As much as I can’t stand the leadership of the Democratic Party, most of the people across the state of Ohio, whatever their vote is, are good people, ladies and gentlemen. And we in this party believe that we ought to fight for them,” Vance continued.
Businessman Mike Gibbons and former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel conceded.
“We stand on the shoulder of giants. The left attacks them and I stand in awe. Ohio has been though tough times before. America’s been through tough times before. We always come back. We’ve always overcome. We prospered and we’ll prosper again. We believe in America we believe in the American dream. While tonight didn’t go as we hoped, don’t be discouraged. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Gibbons said.
Mandel’s comments were brief. He thanked his team and said he congratulated Vance.
Ohio State Sen. Matt Dolan released the following statement:
“JD Vance and I have debated our differences, and in this hard fought campaign he was successful. I know we share a love for our country because it’s not just a place, but an idea, and a cause worth fighting for. Ohio Republicans have spoken and now it’s time to look forward, united in our conservative convictions to make our state and nation a better place to live, and raise a family.”
Also in the race are former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken, businessman Neil Patel and entrepreneur Mark Pukita.
SEE ELECTION RESULTS BELOW