Tonight is the first debate between Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance in the race for Ohio’s open Senate seat. RuralOrganizing.org has been at the forefront of talking to rural communities about their concerns. Rural voters will play a key role in this contest and we hope the moderators, Joe Toohey from WJW and Colleen Marshall from WCMH, will ask the candidates about rural issues tonight.
The following is a statement from Brent Edwards, Ohio Statewide Organizer for RuralOrganizing.org:
RuralOrganizing.org will be closely monitoring tonight's debate between Congressman Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance for Ohio's Senate Seat. With the projections around the balance of the Senate being neck and neck, it is not an exaggeration to say that the balance of power in Washington may come down to who can lift up the voices of Ohio's rural populations. RuralOrganizing.org's efforts throughout this cycle have been focused on highlighting the economic issues that affect the daily lives of residents. These issues — combating high food costs, utility costs, and combating pollution — have largely been ignored by J.D. Vance. We urge Tim Ryan to continue his strong focus on these issues that most affect rural communities, and for J.D. Vance to come clean about his whitewashed record of outreach to those in rural Ohio.
The following is a statement from Michelle Novak, Ohio Strategist for RuralOrganizing.org:
In Ohio, there is an unspoken rule that Democrats focus on urban areas and Republicans focus on rural communities but that’s not what is happening this year. Senator Rob Portman has been a big supporter of rural communities, and I have major concerns about who will fill the vacuum left by his retirement. This campaign has shown that the candidates have taken very different approaches to appeal to rural voters, who could likely be the swing vote in this Senate race. As a resident of Middletown, I’ve appreciated Tim Ryan’s outreach to rural communities and his focus on workforce development, which is sorely needed in Ohio. Relationships matter and rural communities need to feel like they’re being heard, especially after being disenfranchised for so long. In order to win, candidates must continue to elevate rural issues and build momentum in rural Ohio — and we hope the candidates will talk about this tonight.
The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:
We need to hear real solutions for rural Ohio during this debate because, as we have learned from the Associated Press and The New York Times, J.D. Vance’s first attempt to “renew” Ohio was either a complete fraud or a total failure. So, we’d like to know who funded J.D. Vance’s controversial nonprofit, something he has refused to answer. The voters of Ohio should know that. And, Vance should also be asked why he hired Sally Satel as an adviser for his nonprofit given her very deep ties to Big Pharma and, specifically, Purdue Pharma.
“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing."