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ELECTION SPOTLIGHT: Ohio Senate candidate’s talks key midterm issues, heated race

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, Republican nominee J.D. Vance and Democratic nominee Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio., competing in Ohio’s Senate race both spoke to Fox News Digital

Here’s what they had to say:

OHIO REP. TIM RYAN ACCUSED OF ABUSING HOUSE PROXY VOTING TO CAMPAIGN FOR SENATE

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.”

Ryan: I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and will always protect the rights of responsible gun owners. But, we have to do something to address the gun violence our communities are facing. As the husband of a public school teacher and a father of school-age children, I do think it’s essential that we find the moral courage to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and when I’m in the Senate, I’ll work together with Democrats and Republicans to find common-sense solutions to keep Ohioans safe. 

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.”

Ryan: We have to have strong borders, and we have to know who is coming into our country. I opposed the Administration’s reckless decision to end Title 42, and I’m proud to be a member of the House Border Technology Caucus, which is working to make sure our border is secure and that we have a strong system for knowing who is crossing the border. That said, as the great-grandson of immigrants, I’m also committed to working to modernize our immigration system and finding solutions that keep Americans safe, make it easier to come here legally, and keep families together.

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.”

U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Tim Ryan won the Democratic primary in Ohio.

Ryan: I am running for the Senate to cut Ohio workers in on the deal. I am a lifelong Ohioan who lives just a few miles from the house where I grew up in Niles, and I am proud to have spent my career fighting for Ohio workers. But while I was fighting to bring money and support home to Ohio, JD Vance was leaving Ohio as quickly as he could for San Francisco, where he made millions while investing in companies that profited from outsourcing and globalization. Over the past year, I’ve been campaigning in every corner of the state, meeting with Ohioans and hearing about what they need in their next senator. Meanwhile, JD has been sitting at home and avoiding talking with voters. We cannot trust JD to fight for us in Washington when he won’t even show up to meet with people here during his campaign. 

DEMOCRAT TIM RYAN COURTS TRUMP VOTERS IN OHIO SENATE RACE WITH ‘AMERICANS FIRST’ ECONOMIC MESSAGE

In the Senate, Ohioans can count on me to take on members of both parties when it’s what’s right for Ohio. I’ll keep fighting to raise wages and make it easier to unionize, make health care more affordable, protect Ohioans’ retirement security, tackle the opioid epidemic, and revitalize manufacturing, so we can make things in Ohio again — and make sure we’re cutting workers in on the deal every step of the way. 

Rep. Tim Ryan currently represents Ohio's 13th Congressional District.

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.”

Ryan: I will immediately fight to pass a working-class tax cut. Rising costs for everything from groceries to childcare are having a major impact on working Ohioans, and in the short term, we need to get more money in people’s pockets to help ride out this inflation. I’ve been calling for this for months, and Congress needs to get it done now. I’ll also continue to work with anyone to find long-term solutions to the problems folks are facing by bringing our supply chain back home, creating good-paying manufacturing jobs, and making sure Ohio workers have the support and resources they need to compete and win.

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.”

Ryan: I appreciate JD’s service to our country as a Marine.  

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

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