J.D. Vance event tonight continues big week-plus for Middletown including movie, home runs and fight

Clockwise from left: Kyle Schwarber, J.D. Vance, Kayla Harrison and filming of the movie “Bones and All” in Middletown.
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Clockwise from left: Kyle Schwarber, J.D. Vance, Kayla Harrison and filming of the movie “Bones and All” in Middletown.

What a week-plus it has been for Middletown.

From the bright lights of Hollywood to an undefeated professional fighter to a record-setting home run hitter to an award-winning author possibly entering the political arena, those connected to Middletown are making national headlines.

Recently, parts of a “Bones and All” starring Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell and written by Miami University alum David Kajganich, was shot in downtown Middletown; Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, remained undefeated as a professional fighter; Kyle Schwarber, in his first season with the Washington Nationals, set a home run record; and MHS graduate J.D. Vance is expected to announce tonight he’s running for U.S. Senate.

Mary Huttlinger, executive director of the Middletown Visitors Bureau, said those from Middletown who “represent our community as ambassadors” provide the rest of the country with “a positive image of Middletown,” reinforcing it’s a great place to live and grow up.

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Rick Pearce, president of the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton, is a Middletown native who has closely followed the careers of local athletes and Vance.

“It’s extremely exciting to see individuals born and raised here performing at the highest levels in their careers,” he said. “We hope young people of today use them as an example that they can reach those heights as well.”

‘I’m gonna be the queen’

Harrison raised her professional fight record to 10-0 Friday night when she recorded a first-round armbar submission from Cindy Dandois in the PFL lightweight division.

With the victory at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Harrison finished the PFL regular season with 12 points, securing her the No. 2 seed behind Larissa Pacheco.

Harrison won the 2019 PFL championship and $1 million in prize money. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to COVID.

“I’m so far ahead of all these girls,” Harrison said at her post-fight interview. “This is the game of thrones and I’m gonna be the queen.”

‘It’s been clicking’

Schwarber’s record-setting June continued when he hit a home run in his first at-bat Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

It was the seventh time this month Schwarber, 28, a Middletown High School graduate, has led off the game with a home run.

He has 16 home runs in June, all since June 12. That’s more than the totals of 10 MLB teams.

Schwarber has 25 home runs this season, tying him with Fernando Tatis Jr., of the San Diego Padres for the National League lead.

He credits a session with hitting coach Kevin Long and teammate Josh Harrison as the point where things turned for him.

“Since that day, it’s been clicking,” he said.

Vance announcement coming today

Vance will make “a special announcement” tonight in Middletown, his hometown.

He has long been a rumored as a U.S. Senate candidate. The “Hillbilly Elegy” author told associates he plans to run for the seat being vacated in 2022 by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati. Portman announced in January he will not seek a third Senate term.

Vance will appear at Middletown Tube Works at 6:30 p.m.

In 2016, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, attended a roundtable discussion with female business leaders at the Middletown plant.

Kayla Harrison, two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, takes the field with her gold medals before the Middies football game Sept. 9, 2016 at Barnitz Stadium in Middletown. She is undefeated in 10 professional fights. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Kayla Harrison, two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, takes the field with her gold medals before the Middies football game Sept. 9, 2016 at Barnitz Stadium in Middletown. She is undefeated in 10 professional fights. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF