Ohio senate candidate speaks at local Steubenville restaurant

Grace Murphy
Staff Writer

An author and Ohio senate candidate spoke about his political views and senate campaign at Froehlich’s Classic Corner restaurant in downtown Steubenville Friday at 5:15 p.m.

J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and candidate for Ohio senate, was introduced by Kimberly Hahn, councilwoman-at-large for the city of Steubenville. The audience included Franciscan University of Steubenville students, faculty members and staff.

Vance began his speech by giving background information about himself. He talked about growing up in Middletown, Ohio, and being raised by his grandmother.

“I grew up in my grandparents’ home because my mom struggled with opioid addiction for a very big part of my early life,” said Vance.

Vance said that he enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2003 and served in Iraq. After the Marine Corps, he attended Ohio State University and Yale Law School.

Vance talked about his political views on issues including industry, immigration and drugs. He said his view of the American dream was that normal people could live a good life by working hard.

“I am running for senate to represent all of you because we need to live in a country, we need to live in a state again where you can live a normal good life if you work hard and play by the rules,” said Vance. “That is what this campaign is all about.”

Vance also said many current United States politicians are not focused on solving real problems that the nation faces. Instead, he said, they are focused on trivial issues.

“That to me is what I can actually do as your U.S. senator,” said Vance. “I can talk about the real problems. I am not afraid to be called bad names and I think it is important for us to stop talking about the fake stuff and start talking about the real stuff.”

Vance concluded his speech by discussing his campaign. He said volunteering, fundraising and polling were going well.

“Right now all three things feel like they are really moving my direction,” said Vance.

Vance then answered audience questions. After questions, Vance said he was attending Steubenville’s First Friday on Fourth Street event.

“I thought he was a very real and normal person,” said Lucy Gutierrez, a freshman at Franciscan University. “His speech seemed very eloquent and sincere.”