The two candidates for U.S. Senate from Ohio offer a stark choice to voters.
Do we want a senator who believes in democracy — that we should honor the will of the people?
Do we want a senator who tells the truth and is consistent in his core beliefs? And do we want a senator who can represent all Ohioans and bring us together to solve tough problems?
In answering these questions, I am both an Ohioan and former legislative director for Republican Rob Portman.
I strongly support Democrat Tim Ryan. When I served in this role for Portman, who had just been elected to the U.S. House, he was active legislatively and responsible for the drafting and passage of nine important bills in hisfirst five years.
At that time, Rob Portman had a firm rule in place that he would only sponsor legislation that was bipartisan — there would need to be one or more Democratic members of Congress who joined him in offering legislative approaches to address matters of public import. It was also practical — it meant something could get done.
This insistence on working across the aisle allowed for a strong sense of unity and for a focus on shared goals. It also meant he tried to represent all the people in his district, not just those who voted for him.
This is the type of leadership that we can rely on from Tim Ryan if he is elected to the U.S. Senate.
Ryan has a strong record of bipartisanship and he holds views that any Ohioan could find attractive, such as supporting businesses, training workers, boosting educational outcomes, standing with veterans, and ensuring Ohio’s working families are able to thrive. He is a uniter at a time of tense national division.
J.D. Vance, on the other hand, has made clear that he is all about division, and following in the hate-mongering steps of Donald Trump.
The fact that Vance publicly states that Trump won his re-election bid in 2020, despite the total lack of evidence for such a belief – and the fact that he previously dismissed such claims − speaks volumes about Vance’s lack of integrity, but also about his total lack of understanding of how democracy works.
Vance has also shown we cannot trust him.
His own statements from before and after he entered politics illustrate that he is a flip-flopper who cannot be trusted. It’s not clear who he even is and what he values.
His willingness to jettison any thread of honesty or honor in order to win an endorsement from Trump and the Republican nomination shows that he is willing to do anything to gain power, including telling people what they want to hear, not what he actuallybelieves. And in doing so, he misleads them. Without respect and trust, no one has the clout to lead.
Having followed the career of Ryan for some time, I have witnessed a person of great integrity, and whose emphasis once elected will be on working to help end the terrible divisions that are tearing our country apart. We do not have a chance of solving the critical issues of today, unless we are working together to solve them, finding areas of shared visions and hopes.
Ryan has shown his interest in working with members of all political stripes, and to stay away from the type of partisanship that we have seen from so many of our elected officials. It will be such a refreshing change to see him in the U.S. Senate and I’m so pleased to support him.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Jonathan Petuchowski: J.D Vance follows Trump's hate-mongering steps