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Ohio's new U.S. Senator talks about his priorities when he gets to Congress

J.D. Vance talks to some attendees at the Impact Ohio Conference in Columbus on November 10, 2022
Jo ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
J.D. Vance talks to some attendees at the Impact Ohio Conference in Columbus on November 10, 2022

The balance of the U.S. Senate is in flux right now as votes in some key races in other states have yet to be tabulated so it's unclear whether it will remain under control of Democrats or shift to Republican leadership. But newly elected U.S. Senator, J.D. Vance, promised to work with Democrats to pass legislation he thinks would benefit Ohioans.

Vance said he thinks his background in business will be helpful in key issues involving investments and job development.

He said he’s willing to work with Ohio’s senior U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown, as well as other Democrats.

“I plan to work with anybody with whom I can get things done. I think certainly on things like trade policy and bringing manufacturing jobs back to Ohio, Sherrod could be a good ally. On energy policy, hopefully Joe Manchin could be a good ally. So the way I think about it is the people of Ohio sent me to the United States Senate to do a job and I'll work with whoever I have to to get things done,” Vance said.

Vance said he wants to tackle two issues immediately — border security and inflation.

"We do have a terrible border problem. The fentanyl is going to kill a lot of people unless we stop it. It's already killed a lot of people and I think we need to stop it as much as we can. And really we've got to get the prices under control. The inflation has come down a little bit but it's still way too high. It's still at historic highs but I think a big part of that is opening up our energy, our refining markets and our pipelines to bring down the cost of gas, the cost of utilities," Vance said.

Vance does not have a background in politics and this will be the first public office he's held. But he said he thinks that could be a benefit as he begins work in the new Senate in January.

"I don't think it will be used against me. Certainly, there are things I will have to learn. But I think I bring a different perspective, having grown up in the business world, having achieved something in the private sector so I think it's an asset to send people to Washington with a fresh perspective," Vance said.

Vance defeated Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003. Ryan said he is unsure what he'll do next.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.