Ryan, Vance issue conflicting debate announcements

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

They’re willing to debate, but the particulars still have to be worked out.

Ohio’s two candidates for U.S. Senate released statements over the past few days, emphasizing their agreement to debate. However, the specifics of when and where this will take place did not match up.

Democrat Tim Ryan announced on Friday his commitment to three debates:

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One hosted by WFMJ-TV, at Youngstown’s historic Stambaugh Auditorium, on Sept. 26, one hosted by WLWT News 5, at Parrish Auditorium on Miami University’s Hamilton Campus, on Oct. 4 and one hosted by the Ohio Debate Commission, at the Akron-Summit County Public Library on, Oct. 12.

Ryan, who currently serves as a U.S. representative for Ohio, will face Republican J.D. Vance, a venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

Vance’s campaign released a statement on Friday, agreeing to two debates, one hosted by Nexstar News’ WJW TV/Fox 8 in Cleveland, on Oct. 4 and one debate hosted by WLWT News 5, but said the date had yet to be determined.

Vance’s campaign did not agree to the debate hosted by the Ohio Debate Commission, which has also set a gubernatorial debate for Oct. 10 and a forum for the Ohio Supreme Court chief justice race, at a time and place to be determined.

“This election will steer the direction of Ohio for years, but because JD Vance has spent the last few months hiding from Ohio voters and campaigning basically everywhere except Ohio, voters haven’t had a chance to hear directly from him,” Ryan’s campaign manager Dave Chase said.

Jordan Wiggins, Vance’s campaign manager, also weighed in.

“Tim Ryan has built his candidacy on the lie that he’s a moderate Democrat,” Wiggins said. “Tim Ryan’s 20 years in D.C. tell a different story: he votes with Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, voted for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand until the point of birth, voted to raise taxes over a hundred times, and voted with the defund the police movement.”

In the gubernatorial race, Courtney Rice, communications director for Democratic nominee Nan Whaley told The Ironton Tribune that the campaign has agreed to take part in the Oct. 10 debate.

“She has formally accepted,” Rice said of Whaley, adding that they have also agreed to a debate by Nexstar and one by the Columbus Metropolitan Club. She said DeWine has yet to agree to any of those events.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, DeWine said he would look into the proposed Nexstar debate.

The governor said it is likely that there will be joint appearances by the candidates at media-organized events and stressed his travels around the state and frequent press conference schedule in communicating with Ohioans.