OHIO (WJW) — For the first time since 2011, Ohio has a new U.S. Senator to fill the seat that had been held by Republican Rob Portman.

Political newcomer J.D. Vance pulled away in a tight race to win the seat by a margin of 53% to 46%. In a race that was expected to be close, the night started with democratic challenger Tim Ryan winning the early voting. The race remained close until just before midnight when more than 90% of the votes were counted.

In his acceptance speech, Vance thanked Ryan for running a good campaign and vowed to represent everyone, regardless of who they supported in the race.

Watch Vance’s speech in the player below:

“I want to thank so much, the people helping us build coalitions all across the state of Ohio, it’s such an important job because now that I am the senator-elect of the great state of Ohio we have got a solid foundation not just to win races but to actually go to Washington and serve the great people of Ohio,” said Vance.

Vance went on to say he aims to take this opportunity to make the lives of people in Ohio better.

“What an incredible honor it is to have gotten to run this campaign- win or lose- I said it is one of the coolest experiences of my entire life. But now the people of Ohio have given us a job and what we need to do over the next couple of years, over the next six years, the full-length of this senate term, whoever the president is, whatever the majority looks like we have a very simple job to do, it’s to go to work every single day and to fight for the people of Ohio,” said Vance. “Fight for our workers, fight for our families, fight for the people struggling with the opioid addiction problem, fight for the single moms struggling to raise babies just like my mom raised me, we have got a great state we have got a great country.”

Congressman Tim Ryan expressed gratitude as he conceded the senate race.

Watch Ryan’s concession speech in the player below:

Ryan had his wife and children by his side as he told a large crowd of supporters in Boardman, Ohio, that he’s thankful for them and for his family.

“We have an obligation to be good citizens and when I called JD to concede I told him you have got to take care of the working class people in this country because the working class people have been forgotten,” said Ryan. 

Ryan joked about being unemployed, but also expressed gratitude for his 2 years representing the 13th District.

He discussed the “exhausted majority” and the need to unite the country, and for government to work together for all Americans — something he says he shares with J.D. Vance.

“What I said I meant that (in) this country we have too much hate, we have too much anger there’s way too much fear, there’s way too much division and we need more love we need more compassion,” said Ryan. “(The) important thing is we need forgiveness, we need grace, we need reconciliation, we need to leave the age of stupidity behind us.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown released a statement congratulating the winners in the 2022 Midterm Election.

“I look forward to working with J.D. when it’s in the best interest of all Ohioans and continue the work Senator Portman and I have done to move our state forward, ” said Brown.