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ELECTION SPOTLIGHT: Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance talks key midterm issues, heated race with Tim Ryan

The contest for Ohio’s open Senate seat is the focus of this week’s edition of Election Spotlight, Fox News Digital’s series that asks candidates in top races to respond to the same set of policy and political questions.

This week, only one candidate chose to participate — Republican nominee J.D. Vance. Democratic nominee Rep. Tim Ryan did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Here’s what Vance had to say:

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Do you agree with the Biden administration’s policies advocating stricter gun laws?

Vance: “No. The problem with the Biden administration’s approach on guns is that it reduces the rights of law-abiding Americans without reducing gun crime committed by criminals. We do have a mass shooting problem in America. We also have an inner-city violence problem, and both of these issues are related to the fact that we have skyrocketing rates of depression and other mental illness. At the same time, thanks to Joe Biden and Tim Ryan’s attack on America’s police, our local law enforcement is understaffed and underfunded. Let’s deal with the root causes of mental health (like fatherless homes), and let’s fully support our police to deal with the rising crime. These interventions would do far more than grabbing guns to solve our real problems.”

OHIO SENATE SHOWDOWN: REPUBLICAN JD VANCE HAS SLIGHT EDGE OVER DEMOCRATIC REP. TIM RYAN

Do you agree or disagree with President Biden’s immigration policy?

Vance: “I’m not sure if he has an immigration policy, besides encouraging an unlimited flow of illegal crime and drugs into our country. These policies undercut the wages of American workers, stress our resources — like our schools and hospitals — and ensure a constant flow of drugs and crime into our country. Biden has completely abandoned our border to chaos, and Tim Ryan has supported him every step of the way. There is much I disagree with about Joe Biden’s agenda, but his border policies are perhaps the worst set of policies to come from an American president in a generation. And most of the media turns a blind eye or calls leaders like me terrible names for stating the obvious.”

Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance has a slight lead over opponent Ryan, according to a June poll.

Why should you, and not your opponent, be elected this November?

Vance: “Our country has been corrupted, put down and taken advantage of by a generation of failed leadership, and I’m the only candidate in this race who recognizes this and has plans to stop it. When the Democrats and the media call Republicans racist for defending the southern border and protecting our communities from drugs, Tim Ryan has joined the chorus. I’ve fought against it. When the Democrats say that inflation is a small price to pay for their green energy utopia, Tim Ryan has voted with them every step of the way. I’ve attacked their policies and would vote against them. When the Democrats determined that law enforcement was evil and racist, thus justifying the policies that have seen our murder rate skyrocket, Tim Ryan was the loudest voice criticizing the police. This is why the Ohio Fraternal of Police endorsed me.

“More importantly, I’ve lived the American Dream and will fight for it. My hometown was devastated by the bipartisan decision to ship Ohio manufacturing jobs to China. I enlisted in the Marines the very same year Tim Ryan began his life as a career politician. I saw what happens when our leaders prioritize welfare checks instead of good jobs for citizens, and when they give noncitizens rights that they deny to Americans. And even as I saw the failures of our leaders, I also benefited from the incredible spirit of our people: teachers who took a chance on me, grandparents who fought for me, taxpayers who made it possible for me to get an education. Now, I’m a business owner, a husband and the father of three young kids. It wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of Ohio, and now it’s time to ensure the next generation still has a country worth living in.”

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.

If elected, what would be your first order of business?

Vance: “I would refuse to give Biden a dime for his policies until we secure the border. It’s the most important thing we can do right now. We also need to open up American energy exploration to end inflation and make America a place where citizens who work hard can actually afford a good life. But there’s so much to do. Between runaway spending — a big driver of inflation — and the war on local police, we have so much work to do in the next Congress and beyond.”

What is one thing you admire about your opponent?

Vance: “Honestly, I think Tim Ryan has a good heart. I really believe that, 20 years ago, he wanted to go to Washington to help the people of his district. But, like so many, he got corrupted by that town and stopped thinking for himself. That’s why he votes with Biden 100% of the time. And that’s why we need new leadership to take our great state in a different direction.”

Check back next week for another edition of Election Spotlight to hear from candidates on the ballot this fall.

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