‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Author J.D. Vance Will Not Run For Ohio Senate Seat

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: J.D. Vance, author of the book "Hillbilly Elegy," poses for a portrait photograph near the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2017. Vance has become the nation's go-to angry, white, rural translator. The book has sold almost half a million copies since late June. Vance, a product of rural Ohio, a former Marine and Yale School grad, has the nation's top-selling book. He's become a CNN commentator, in-demand speaker, and plans to move back to Ohio from SF where he's worked as a principal in an investment firm. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)
The Washington Post/The Washington Post

Despite gaining a reported backing from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance will not challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in November, according to a statement he posted on Twitter Friday.

Citing his “young family” and professional ventures as rationale, Vance thanked everyone who “encouraged” him to jump into the race.

“I thought seriously about running in August 2017, but decided that the timing was awful for my young family,” he said in the statement. “Some things have changed since then, but not enough to make running a good idea.”

The speculation over Vance’s potential bid began after the state’s Republican treasurer Josh Mandel dropped out of the race in October, due to his wife’s health issues.

While Vance never publicly said he was considering a bid, he reportedly had significant support from Republicans in Washington. McConnell reportedly told associates that he would make Vance’s bid a priority if he decided to run, according to Politico. Gov. John Kasich also encouraged Vance’s bid, according to Buzzfeed.

The deadline for filing for candidacy in the Ohio Senate race is Feb. 7, and businessman Mike Gibbons is the only Republican who’s filed for the May primary election. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH), who is running for governor, told a Cleveland radio station he would mull running if he had the backing of President Donald Trump. 

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