Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy," has told friends and colleagues that he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: He'll need to reconcile his growing antagonism to Big Tech with a career that's been facilitated by it.

State of play: Vance, who's been both celebrated and criticized for his "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" ethos, would be entering a crowded GOP primary field.

  • His goal, according to one source, is to present himself as a bridge between Trump and establishment Republicans, particularly because it may be tough to out-Trump former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
  • That said, he's sought Trump's counsel. Vance recently met privately with the former president at Mar-a-Lago, with Peter Thiel in tow, per multiple sources.

Resumé: Vance began his VC career with Mithril Capital, a Silicon Valley firm founded by Thiel.

  • In 2017 he joined Revolution, the Washington, D.C.-based firm co-founded by Steve Case, to work on a Rise of the Rest initiative that sought to fund startups outside of traditional VC ecosystems.
  • Then, two years later, he and Rise of the Rest colleague Colin Greenspon left to co-found Cincinnati-based Narya, which raised over $90 million for a debut fund from investors like Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Eric Schmidt and Scott Dorsey.

Both Rise of the Rest and Narya fit into Vance's personal narrative of helping seed success in left-behind geographies. For example, the firms were early investors in AppHarvest, a Moorehead, Ky.-based indoor tomato-grower that later went public via SPAC.

  • AppHarvest yesterday announced Vance's departure from its board.
  • One media report suggested the decision was tied to Vance's recent tweets about the Georgia voting law, but Axios has learned that Vance informed AppHarvest of his intentions just before a board meeting during the week of March 22. He told fellow directors that he was likely to run, and didn't want AppHarvest to become politicized.

Candidate Vance would need to at least take a leave of absence from Narya, which hasn't finished investing its fund.

  • Expectations are that Narya's two other partners — Greenspon and former VentureOhio CEO Falon Donohue — would hold down the fort, with Thiel's blessing.
  • Vance declined comment, and has not publicly discussed his electoral plans, while neither Greenspon nor Thiel responded to Axios' inquiries.

Delicate dance: Vance made his name as an author, but he's made his career as a venture capitalist, backed by many of the coastal billionaires he now plans to rhetorically run against.

  • Earlier this week Vance tweeted: "Establishment Republican apologies for our oligarchy should always come with the following disclaimer: 'Big Tech pays my salary.'"
  • Yet Vance's salary, as a partner with Narya, has literally been paid, at least in part, by two directors at Facebook and the former CEO of Google.

The bottom line: Expect campaign rivals to pounce on the contradictions, while the eloquent Vance will try talk his way around it — banking on the fact that Ohio twice went for a populist billionaire.

Go deeper

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.

Biden warns gas stations not to price gouge: "That's not who we are"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday warned gas companies to not price gouge amid major shortages following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.

The big picture: Biden added that the FBI does not believe the Russian government is behind the attack, but they do know that those responsible "are living in Russia."