Ohio Senate race pulling in celebrities, entering national limelight
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 Dave Matthews Band performed at KEMBA Live! Monday night to fundraise. A Ryan spokesperson tweeted that 5,000 people showed up.
- In September, singer Paul Simon performed at a Canfield fundraiser and canvassed with Ryan and other Ohio Democrats.
- And actor Mark Hamill hosted a virtual phonebank event to make calls on Ryan's behalf.
- In September, Trump held a rally in Youngstown to campaign for Vance.
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.
- Members of the cast of "The West Wing" — Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen — participated in a virtual event with gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley in late September.
- Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweeted to raise money for the three Democratic Ohio Supreme Court candidates on the ballot.
What's next: Fox News is hosting a town hall with Ryan and Vance on Nov. 1 at 6pm in Columbus.
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