J.D. Vance was former President Donald Trump's last stump stop and the GOP Senate candidate has held off Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in the famous election bellwether state, Newsmax projects.
Vance, author of the hardscrabble memoir "Hillbilly Elegy
," has won Ohio's open Senate seat, defeating Ryan in a state that has trended Republican over the past decade.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Vance, and tech billionaire Peter Thiel was a major donor to his campaign.
National Republican groups spent heavily to shore up his prospects.
The win for the Republicans does not represent a gain of a seat in the 100-member Senate, as Vance will replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
But it marks a failure of Biden's Democrats to flip a competitive seat in the all-important battle for control of the Senate, which is currently evenly split but held by Democrats because of Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote.
And it keeps Republican hopes alive of wresting control of the upper chamber from the opposing party in Tuesday's midterm elections.
Vance, 37, earned national attention — and acclaim — in 2016 with his memoir about his modest and chaotic childhood in a working-class town in Ohio that has become a symbol of the industrial decline of the American Rust Belt.
A military veteran who became a venture capitalist in California, Vance entered politics last year and won his party's primary by drawing close to Trump, with whom he has had a topsy-turvy relationship.
Vance's backing from Trump in red-leaning Ohio helped him remain competitive in the Senate race against Ryan, a Democrat congressman who has kept his distance from Biden.
Information from The Associated Press and Agence France Presse was used in this report.
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