J.D. Vance, the Peter Thiel-ally and Hillbilly Elegy author, has won the highly contested Republican Senate primary in Ohio. Vance’s victory over a group of Ohio politicians, including former State Treasurer Josh Mandel and state Sen. Matt Dolan, is more evidence that Donald Trump’s towering influence over the Republican Party has yet to abate.
At the start of his campaign, Vance shocked the media by adopting an explicitly Trumpian persona and an agenda that mirrored the former president’s policy positions. Vance initially struggled in the polls, hampered, in part, by his reputation as an erstwhile anti-Trumper. However, he became the frontrunner virtually overnight after beating out his opponents to receive Trump’s coveted endorsement and maintained that status through the election. If you’re curious to read more about his transformation, here’s a non-comprehensive list I pulled together of his craziest statements.
Vance will now advance to the general election, where he’ll take on moderate Democrat Tim Ryan. Although Ryan remains broadly popular among Ohioans, he faces a steep uphill battle in the increasingly red state.