'Hillbilly Elegy' author in DC to meet with GOP about potential Senate run: report

'Hillbilly Elegy' author in DC to meet with GOP about potential Senate run: report
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J.D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” is seriously considering a Senate run in Ohio and is meeting with Republicans in Washington this week to discuss a potential bid, according to BuzzFeed.

Vance had initially declined to run for Senate, but is reconsidering after top Senate candidate, Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) dropped out of the race last week, citing his wife’s health.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes McConnell tees up government funding votes amid stalemate MORE (R-Ky.) reportedly talked with Vance on Monday about a potential bid.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since Friday,” said Jai Chabria, an adviser to Vance who traveled with him this week to Washington, told BuzzFeed. 

“The amount of support for J.D. Vance is incredible. People are starting to realize he has the best message to beat [Democratic Sen.] Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCritics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 MORE. J.D. is giving serious consideration toward this, because there are very serious people asking him to run.”

Mandel’s surprise exit has shaken up the race to unseat Brown, who’s served in the Senate since 2007 and has been a staple in Ohio politics for decades. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE carried the Buckeye State by more than 8 points in 2016.

Businessman Mike Gibbons is now the only Republican contender running in the May 8 primary, with a filing deadline quickly approaching on Feb. 7. Gibbons has been releasing lists of local endorsements and announced that he would spend an additional $5 million for his campaign.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has ruled out a Senate bid, but Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciDemocrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Medicare for All won't deliver what Democrats promise GOP rep: If Mueller had found collusion, 'investigation would have wrapped up very quickly' MORE (R-Ohio), who is currently running for governor, said he'd strongly consider running for Senate instead if Trump encourages him.