Millionaire venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance eyes an Ohio Senate run that would play up his Appalachian roots: GOP hopes to rebrand as the party of the working class

 More than $10 million has been raised for a super PAC supporting Hillbilly Elegy author and venture capitalist, JD Vance, for a possible Senate campaign in Ohio.  

Vance, 36, who lives in Cincinnati with his wife and children, has not officially announced a run for the US Senate but the PAC is pushing heavily to recruit him.

Vance's background growing up in a poor family is generating excitement in Republican circles in the aftermath of the Trump presidency as the party attempts to rebrand itself from being 'the party of the country clubs' to the party of the working class.


Vance, who is a millionaire and best-selling author, can actually claim to have authentic working class roots.

 He rose to prominence with his 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy about poverty in the US Midwest and his roots in Appalachian Kentucky.

JD Vance is eyeing a potential Senate campaign in Ohio. Vance, who lives in Cincinnati with his wife and children, has not officially announced a run for the US Senate

JD Vance is eyeing a potential Senate campaign in Ohio. Vance, who lives in Cincinnati with his wife and children, has not officially announced a run for the US Senate

Vance rose to prominence with his 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy about poverty in the Midwest and his roots in Appalachian Kentucky

Vance rose to prominence with his 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy about poverty in the Midwest and his roots in Appalachian Kentucky

His memoir was turned into a Netflix film produced by Ron Howard late last year starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams. Close received an Oscar nomination for supporting actress for her role in the film.  

'We're a network of grassroots conservatives committed to electing a Senator who will stand for and defend Ohio's values in Washington, DC,' PAC advisor Bryan Lanza said. 

'We believe JD Vance is the right man for the job and we are signing up supporters and raising funds to demonstrate a groundswell of support in the Buckeye State.' 

The state's 2022 Senate race is already heating up after current GOP Sen. Rob Portman announced earlier this year that he is retiring. 

A number of high-profile Republican names are already in the mix for the seat, including former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken. 

Vance considered running against Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown back in 2018 but ultimately declined.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel made a $10 million donation to Protect Ohio Values, which is a PAC formed last month to back JD Vance's possible Senate campaign in Ohio

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel made a $10 million donation to Protect Ohio Values, which is a PAC formed last month to back JD Vance's possible Senate campaign in Ohio

At the time, Vance said he was busy with investment work, a nonprofit he started to help address Ohio's opioid crisis and a young family.

'Count me out of politics for now,' Vance said back then, but things look different this time around. 

Billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has donated $10 million to Protect Ohio Values, which is a PAC formed last month to back Vance's potential run for Senate.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early Facebook investor, has previously backed Vance's Narya Capital venture firm, which he runs out of Cincinnati. 

Thiel was also was one of the few prominent Silicon Valley tech moguls to publicly back President Trump. 


Republican's believe JD Vance's authentic working class roots could be used to their advantage

Republican's believe JD Vance's authentic working class roots could be used to their advantage

In addition to Theil's $10 million donation Lanza said that hedge fund manager Robert Mercer's family had also made a 'significant' contribution. 

His memoir was turned into a Netflix film starring Glen Close, who received an Oscar nomination for her role

His memoir was turned into a Netflix film starring Glen Close, who received an Oscar nomination for her role

The donations could result in Vance being a front-runner in the potentially crowded GOP primary. 

Vance's memoir, released in 2016, became an election-year explainer to liberal America about the white underclass that fueled President Trump's rise. 

It quickly made the New York Times' best sellers list later that year. 

His memoir details his roots in Appalachian Kentucky and how they related to growing up in Middletown, Ohio.

His family were originally hillbillies from the poor and remote Appalachian Mountains that run from Pennsylvania to Alabama. 

He details in his memoir growing up with violent, alcoholic grandparents, a heroin addicted mother and an absent father. 

Vance now has an estimated net worth of $7million. A former Marine who served in Iraq and studied at Yale Law School, Vance worked as a principal at a venture capital firm owned by Theil called Mithril Capital Management. In 2020, Vance raised $93 million for Narya Capital in Ohio.   

Vance quickly became a popular talk show guest for his insights into Trump's white working-class support although he showed no interest in backing the then candidate himself.

Amy Adams and Glenn Close star in Hillbilly Elegy trailer
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'I think that I'm going to vote third party because I can't stomach Trump,' Vance told NPR on book tour in 2016. 'I think that he's noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place.'  

Political strategists believe the Republican party needs to shift its demographic away from its supporters who are disproportionately white.

President Trump managed to made some progress among Latinos and a small percentage of African American men in 2020.

Vance, who is a former US Marine who served in Iraq and studied at Yale Law School, quickly became a popular talk show guest for his insights into Trump's white working-class support

Vance, who is a former US Marine who served in Iraq and studied at Yale Law School, quickly became a popular talk show guest for his insights into Trump's white working-class support

An internal Republican memo seen by Axios last week suggested 'House Republicans can broaden our electorate, increase voter turnout, and take back the House by enthusiastically rebranding and reorienting as the Party of the Working Class.'

Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are attempting to spread that message. 

'The Republican party is not the party of the country clubs, it's the party of hardworking, blue-collar men and women,' Cruz stated in February, in a speech to CPAC. 

'We are a working-class party now,' Hawley after the November election. 'That's the future.'

Millionaire venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance eyes an Ohio Senate run that would play up his Appalachian roots: GOP hopes to rebrand as the party of the working class Millionaire venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance eyes an Ohio Senate run that would play up his Appalachian roots: GOP hopes to rebrand as the party of the working class Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:10 Rating: 5

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