J.D. Vance says he’ll make ‘special announcement’ next week in Middletown

Middletown native and author J.D. Vance is expected to formally announce his bid for the 2022 U.S. Senate seat. Pictured is Vance in 2017 speaking at the Middletown High School graduation at Princeton Pike Church of God in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/FILE
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Middletown native and author J.D. Vance is expected to formally announce his bid for the 2022 U.S. Senate seat. Pictured is Vance in 2017 speaking at the Middletown High School graduation at Princeton Pike Church of God in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown native and venture capitalist J.D. Vance is set to make “a special announcement” on Thursday evening at a rally event.

Vance has long been a rumored as a U.S. Senate candidate. The “Hillbilly Elegy” author told associates, according to an Axios story in April, 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.

The current Senate race field is led by former Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel, who according to polling leads the crowded Republican race. In a poll commissioned by his campaign, Mandel leads the crowd of candidates.

Former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken is second in polling. In a poll commissioned by her campaign, Timken is closing in on that lead.

Other declared Republicans include investment banker and 2018 Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Michael Leipold, car dealership owner Bernie Moreno and IT executive Mark Pukita.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Nilles, is the only declared Democrat in the 2022 U.S. Senate race, though others are considering a bid.

The Thursday Vance rally is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 2201 Trine St. in Middletown (doors open at 5:30 p.m.). An RSVP is required and can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/160767484875.