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Ryan’s new ads continue efforts to link Vance to Ohio’s opioid crisis

CLEVELAND — Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, is delivering another set of ads that connect JD Vance, his Republican rival in the U.S. state Senate race, to the tragedies of the opioid crisis.

Two spots — one 60 seconds, the other 30 — feature an Ohio mother mourning the loss of her son, identified only as Joe, to addiction.

“It wasn’t just JD Vance who claimed to help kids like Joe,” the mother says. “He brought in a woman funded by the drug companies for their own benefit. They continue to make profits and our children continue to die. I lost Joe and JD just helped himself.

“It wasn’t Joe’s fault,” the mother says at the end of the 60-second version. “He fought so hard. I remember Joe saying I want to live mum. I want to live. I wanted to too.

The ads, airing in Ohio’s six major television markets and part of an eight-figure media buy, reference work done by Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit that Vance – a venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy” — launched to fight opioids. problems after returning to its home country in 2016. The nonprofit, now dormant as Vance runs for the Senate, has come under scrutiny for what little it has actually done. .

Last month, The Associated Press reported that the organization had hired a doctor with ties to the maker of OxyContin to complete a year-long residency as an addiction specialist. The doctor has publicly questioned the links between doctor-prescribed painkillers and opioids and opioid addiction.

Ryan has made Vance’s nonprofit a frequent punching bag in his ads, including a previous one that cited the specialist’s hiring and claimed without evidence that Vance had directly ‘worsened’ the opioid epidemic in Ohio.

As the new ads landed on Wednesday, an ally of Vance was quick to call foul.

“This ad is dishonest and exploitative,” said Luke Thompson, executive director of Protect Ohio Values, a pro-Vance super PAC. “The entire Tim Ryan campaign is powered by a little dollar scam and an absolutely outright lie. After 20 years in Congress, Ryan has nothing to show but negativity, deception and a book on yoga that no one has read.

Vance chronicled his family’s battles with drug addiction in his blockbuster memoir and pledged to prioritize whether he was elected. His first ad in the GOP primary was about illegal drugs crossing the border and contributing to deaths in Ohio, though Vance’s opening line is mostly remembered: “Are you a racist?” Do you hate Mexicans?

“So I guess I just see it as a multidimensional issue, because it is, and I don’t just see it as a death statistic,” he said in a recent interview with Richland Source, a media outlet in Mansfield, Ohio. “For every person who dies from a fentanyl overdose, there are 30 people behind them who are affected.”

Vance also acknowledged the criticism surrounding Our Ohio Renewal, attributing the nonprofit’s struggles in part to the fact that its executive director was diagnosed with stage four cancer and unable to handle day-to-day operations.

“What Tim Ryan doesn’t say in his attack ads is that the person I hired to become executive director of the association was 33 years old and had stage four cancer,” Vance said in the Richland Source interview. “Now, of course…that’s a problem. It happened, it was unexpected. And we probably could have planned better for these unforeseen circumstances.

The Ohio Senate race to succeed Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, is leaning Republican, according to The Cook Political Report. But Ryan has outspent and outspent Vance and grabbed attention with a message he’s addressing to moderate and independent Republican voters.

Former President Donald Trump, whose endorsement of Vance helped him emerge from the May primary, announced on Tuesday that he would rally with the GOP nominee on September 17 in Youngstown – in the heart of the Congressional District from Ryan.