J.D. Vance, a venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy, announced his candidacy Thursday as a Republican for the Ohio U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).
Vance, who made the announcement in his hometown at the steel fabricator Middletown Tube Works, insisted that the Senate needs people who are willing to “shake the system up.”
“We have to send people to Washington who are willing to shake the system up, to fight, to fight smart and to make our country a little bit better,” Vance said.
Vance’s announcement also targeted big tech, as he pledged to “go after them.”
“We’re gonna go after them; we’re going to break up their monopolies, we’re going to make it illegal for them to steal your data and then sell it back to you,” Vance said to applause.
Vance also noted during his speech that “Middletown Tube pays a higher tax rate than Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook,” blaming the irregularity on “the leaders of this country who have plundered reward for their friends with special tax breaks and not small companies in Ohio.”
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Vance faces off against a crowded Republican primary field including former state GOP chair Jane Timken, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, and two Cleveland businessman, Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno.
Earlier this year, a super PAC supporting Vance was established and received a $10 million contribution from billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal.
In a sit down interview with Breitbart News on Monday, Vance discussed the leftist frameworks of “critical race theory” and “white privilege,” growing consolidation of power within multinational corporations, and the political establishment’s neglect of working-class Americans.
“Critical race theory… is fundamentally an assault on the American founding and the people who founded the country, [and] all of the things that America accomplished between the founding of the country and now,” Vance told Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow.
“This idea that we came from something, that we have a proud tradition in this country… gives us a certain purpose,” he added. “It gives this a certain sense of obligation to the generations that come after us, and when I think about what critical race theory has done, it’s trying to take that away from us.”
In January, Portman announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2022, citing a “partisan gridlock” which he claims makes it more difficult to “make progress on substantive policy.”