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The Ohio GOP Senate race appeared to be wide open. Then, just weeks before the primary election, former President Donald Trump endorsed J.D. Vance, lifting the venture capitalist and conservative commentator to the top of the polls, and then to victory.
Vance, who has never held public office, bested a field of Republicans that included an ex-state treasurer, a former head of the Ohio GOP and others, most of whom had vied for Trump’s support.
Vance burst onto the political media scene when his memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy," about growing up in a small Midwest town made him a media voice of the white working-class during the 2016 presidential election.
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel contributed at least $10 million to a super PAC supporting Vance, who also had the backing of several conservatives in Congress.
Trump's support, though, appeared to put Vance over the top. He surged in the polls after winning the Trump endorsement derby that had consumed the race for the better part of a year.
In November, the GOP Senate nominee will square off against longtime Congressman Tim Ryan, who cruised to the Democratic nomination.
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Who is JD Vance?
Vance has a few titles.
He is a venture capitalist who runs Narya, an Ohio-based venture capital firm he founded and launched in 2020 for startups around the country.
He got his start in the venture capital world at Mithril Capital, an investment firm co-founded by Thiel, a Republican super-donor who was an early investor in Facebook. Vance has held top positions in venture capital funds, including Revolution LLC.
But Vance’s real claim to fame is his career as a conservative commentator, which was ignited by the success of his 2016 memoir, a New York Times bestseller. Cable news shows frequently booked Vance for appearances during the 2016 election.
He has kept his political celebrity, amassing close to 200,000 followers on Twitter in the time since. He became a vocal supporter of Trump, despite criticizing him before the election, and remains a network TV regular.
How old is JD Vance?
Vance was born on August 2, 1984. He is 37 years old.
Where is JD Vance from?
Vance was born and raised in Middletown, Ohio, a small town of less than 50,000 residents near Cincinnati and Dayton.
What does JD stand for?
J.D. are initials for James David.
Where does JD Vance live?
Vance is based in Cincinnati, according to his Twitter profile.
What is JD Vance's net worth?
Online reports show varying and unconfirmed figures for Vance’s net worth, but his Senate financial disclosure provides some insight into his wealth and earnings.
According to the report, Vance earned more than $1 million in non-investment income, including a $408,000 salary from Nayra and $347,000 in royalties from his memoir.
The report lists more than 100 investments with their total value ranging from $4 million to $10 million. Congressional guidelines allow candidates and lawmakers to report their wealth using wide ranges rather than specific values.
Who is JD Vance running against?
After winning the Republican primary, Vance will go up against Ryan, a longtime Ohio congressman, in the general midterm election in November.
What is JD Vance’s platform?
Vance’s campaign outlines thirteen issues.
The main economic issues include revitalizing American manufacturing and addressing inflation. His platform suggests raising taxes on large corporations that do business overseas while cutting taxes for small American businesses.
Another of his key issues is immigration. Vance wants to finish building Trump’s wall and increase the number of Border Patrol agents. His campaign released a controversial TV ad that opens with Vance sarcastically asking viewers "Are you a racist? Do you hate Mexicans," before decrying the press, which Vance says calls supporters of Trump's wall racist.
According to his campaign, Vance would oppose amnesty for undocumented migrants in the United States and favor a more stringent merit-based immigration system than is in place already.
Other promises involve some of the hot-button conservative issues that have taken shape in the Biden era. Vance says he will support cutting funding to universities that teach critical race theory or “radical gender ideology” and break up big tech companies, which Vance says censor conservatives.
Vance also opposes abortion, favors gun rights, and supports further voting requirements such as showing identification to vote and ending expanded mail-in voting.
Who has endorsed JD Vance?
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., all stumped for Vance in Ohio in the final days of the primary campaign.
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Is JD Vance a lawyer?
Vance earned a law degree from Yale Law School in 2013 after graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in political science and philosophy in 2009.
Vance worked briefly as a lawyer for Sidley Austin, an Illinois-based firm, before he pursued an investing career in Silicon Valley.
Was JD Vance a Marine?
Vance joined the Marines in 2003 after graduating from high school. He served in the Iraq War, working in public affairs for the Corps. Vance was discharged from the Marines in 2007.
Is 'Hillbilly Elegy' about JD Vance?
"Hillbilly Elegy" is Vance’s memoir. It details his childhood in Middletown, Ohio, and joining the Marines before pursuing an education at Ohio State University and Yale Law School.
The book was made into a 2020 Netflix film starring Amy Adams.
Who is JD Vance’s wife?
Vance married a fellow Yale Law School classmate, Usha Chilukuri Vance, a lawyer at Munger, Tolles & Olson. She clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts from 2017 to 2018 and for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh from 2014 to 2015, when Kavanaugh was a federal district judge. Vance and Chilukuri have two children together.
What are JD Vance’s views on Ukraine?
Vance made headlines in February when he said “I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another,” on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast, just days before Putin launched his invasion. Vance said he thought Joe Biden should focus on border security at the U.S.-Mexico border, and not Ukraine’s border.
Vance doubled down on this sentiment as the war in Ukraine broke out.
Historic crisis in our country, and our leaders can talk of nothing but Russia and Ukraine. Perhaps they know that they benefit from the distraction. https://t.co/cn3HUPWu6Y
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 15, 2022
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: J.D. Vance is the GOP’s Ohio Senate nominee. What to know.