Oct 26, 2022 - Politics

Ohio Senate race pulling in celebrities, entering national limelight

Dave Matthews Band performing on stage in front of an American flag and a Tim Ryan campaign sign.

Dave Matthews performs at a fundraiser for Rep. Tim Ryan at KEMBA! Live on Monday night. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP via Getty Images

The Ohio Senate race has taken national center stage, with the winner potentially impacting which party will be in the majority on Capitol Hill next year.

Driving the news: With just two weeks left until Election Day, politicians and celebrities are getting involved to try and help sway voters toward Rep. Tim Ryan (D) or J.D. Vance (R).

Details: Ryan is one of the highest raising U.S. Senate candidates in the country, according to USA Today, but has received much less from national party groups than his GOP competitor.

  • Vance has received more than $30 million from national Republicans. His campaign has spent just $3.7 million of its own money on ads, per an NBC News report.
  • On the other hand, Ryan's campaign has spent $24 million of its own money on ads.

The intrigue: While Ryan might not be getting national party support, celebrities are showing up for his campaign.

The other side: Vance, who is endorsed by former President Trump, hosted town halls with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz around Ohio last week and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham this week.

What they're saying: "Tim Ryan claims he wants to be the face of his campaign, except when left-wing celebrities come knocking," a Vance campaign spokesperson tells Axios. "Not exactly a working man's image."

  • Ryan's campaign did not respond to our requests for comment.

Meanwhile, other statewide elections are also seeing star backing.

What's next: Fox News is hosting a town hall with Ryan and Vance on Nov. 1 at 6pm in Columbus.

Our Ohio voter guide

J.D. Vance and Donald Trump stand behind a podium that says "Save America," with Vance speaking
J.D. Vance speaks at a September rally in Youngstown alongside former President Trump. Photo: Tom E. Puskar/AP

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