'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 McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) reportedly talked with Vance on Monday about a potential bid.

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“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 BrownWhen the Fed plays follow the leader, it steers us all toward inflation Which proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? Senate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents 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 TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal 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. RenacciGovernors' races see flood of pro-Trump candidates Former House Republican to challenge DeWine for Ohio gubernatorial nomination The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Republicans seek to sink Jan. 6 commission MORE (R-Ohio), who is currently running for governor, said he'd strongly consider running for Senate instead if Trump encourages him.