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U.S. Senate candidates talk economy, presidential visits and more with News Center 7 – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio


DAYTON — Election Day is eight days away and one of the biggest races on the ballot in Ohio is the contest for an open U.S. Senate seat.

The race is getting national attention and will help determine who controls Congress. News Center 7 had the chance to talk to both candidates one-on-one.

In the final week of their campaigns, JD Vance and Tim Ryan are each spending time in the Miami Valley.

>> Election 2022 Coverage

Ohio’s Senate candidates have taken different approaches on the campaign trail with the most recent president from their party.

President Biden has not made any visits to Ohio to support Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan who is seeking the open U.S. Senate seat that will be left open following the retirement of Sen. Rob Portman.

Bedell asked Ryan why he has not invited President Biden to come and campaign for him.

“I’m running my own race. You know, I’ve got an agenda. I want to fight for people. I want to be the messenger. I want to be the face and I don’t want that really clouded by anybody else,” Ryan said.

Republican JD Vance has received President Donald Trump’s endorsement and will be at a campaign event in Dayton with the former president on Nov. 7.

Bedell asked Vance what he expects to get out of a visit from Trump the night before Election Day. He replied, “The big thing hopefully is it drives turnout. You know, we feel like we’re winning this race. We feel like we’re ahead, but we’re only ahead if the people who are going to vote for us to actually get out there and get to the polls on Election Day.”

Both candidates were asked how they would attack inflation in a meaningful way in the Senate. Ryan said tax cuts in the short-term. “Put more money in people’s pockets. It’s crushing people, the gas prices, the food prices. We need a tax cut. We need more money in the pocket. And, then continue to build out the supply chain like we’re doing with the Chips Act and the Intel project,” Ryan said.

Vance said he wants to stop inflationary federal spending. “The other thing is we really have to open up Ohio’s energy market. So, build more pipeline, build more refining capacity. A big driver of inflation, whether it’s in food or at the gas pump, is energy, which affects everything,” Vance said.

>> Voter Information

Bedell asked what each candidate would do in the Senate to help Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is the large single-site employer in Ohio and the engine that fuels the Miami Valley economy.

“I’ve been on the Defense Appropriations Committee in the House and have always fought and supported Wright-Patt throughout my 20 years in Congress. When I get to the Senate, I want to get on the Defense Appropriations Committee again. And there’s so much consolidation that we do into Wright-Patt,” Ryan said.

“I think the big thing that we need from a Senator in Ohio is just somebody who’s fighting and protecting that site, protecting the jobs that are there, protecting its importance to the Air Force and to our broader national defense,” Vance said.

The U.S. Senate seat is one that GOP is defending as both parties look to break the current 50/50 tie in the U.S. Senate.

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