Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance agree to face off in two U.S. Senate debates

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The two candidates competing in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race — Democratic candidate Tim Ryan and Republican candidate J.D. Vance — have agreed to two debates in October that will take place in northeast Ohio.

Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance, U.S. Senate candidates in a photo stitch
[Andy Chow | Statehouse News Bureau]
The spokespeople for both campaigns have confirmed that Ryan and Vance have agreed to a debate in Cleveland on October 10. That debate will be hosted by WJW and Nexstar. Luke Schroeder, spokesman for the Vance campaign, said that debate will air statewide.

The second debate will take place in Youngstown on October 17. That debate between Vance and Ryan will be hosted by WFMJ.

Ryan also agreed to a debate in Hamilton on October 4. That event would be hosted by WLWT. However, the Vance campaign has said that event is not “logistically possible” because of other commitments that day.

The news of the campaigns both agreeing to debates in Cleveland and Youngstown comes less than a week after the Ohio Debate Commission announced that Republican candidates refused to participate in that group’s proposed debates. The commission said the Republicans running for Ohio Governor and U.S. Senate did not accept the offer to take part in its debates.

A debate in Youngstown continues to signal the importance of the Mahoning Valley region in the 2022 U.S. Senate race.

Ryan has been a congressman for the area since the early 2000s and has proven to be able to consistently win elections from voters in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

But former President Donald Trump was able to flip that region to favor Republicans in 2016 and 2020. Earlier this month, Trump held a rally in Youngstown for Ohio’s Republican candidates, including Vance.

Vance and Ryan are running to replace U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, who announced in early 2021 that he would not seek re-election.

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