Mar 28, 2022; Wilberforce, Ohio: Candidates stand on stage during Ohio’s U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate at Central State University. Photo by Joshua A. Bickel/Ohio Debate Commission.
The Republican and Democratic nominees for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat are wrangling over participating in televised debates. As of Friday, it appears they will hold (at least) two.
First out of the gate, Democrat Tim Ryan announced his commitment to three debates — two in or near his Youngstown-area congressional district and one in Hamilton, not far from Republican J.D. Vance’s hometown.
Under Ryan’s plan, local broadcast stations would host the first two debates, on Sept. 26 and Oct. 4. The Ohio Debate Commission would host the third on Oct. 12.
A few hours later, Vance offered a bid of his own. He scrapped the Sept. 26 debate in Youngstown altogether, and proposed an Oct. 4 debate carried by a Cleveland Fox affiliate in its place. Ryan’s proposal had penciled in the 4th for the debate in Hamilton, so Vance proposed postponing it until a date “to be determined.”
Notably, Vance did not include a debate hosted by the Ohio Debate Commission.
The Republican got plenty of debate stage practice during the primary — including one hosted by the commission — before emerging from a crowded GOP field. Ryan, meanwhile, participated in one debate and one townhall during the Democratic primary.
With conflicting dates and locations the debate schedule seems likely to shift in coming days and weeks.
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