CLEVELAND, Ohio — JD Vance is headed to Washington after the venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy" defeated Tim Ryan in their race for the U.S. Senate in Ohio Tuesday night.
Vance will take over the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman.
A day after Vance's triumph, 3News spoke with political experts on what we should expect to happen next.
"I think that if JD Vance is a senator in the image of a more moderate Republican like Rob Portman, then that's going to be good for Ohio. If, on the other hand, he continues the rhetoric from the campaign trail and tends to be more strident and less compromising, that's not good for Ohio," says Lee Fisher.
Fisher is the dean of Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He has previously served as Ohio's attorney general, lieutenant governor and the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Fisher believes that despite his defeat at the hands of Vance, Tim Ryan ran one of the best campaigns he's seen in Ohio politics.
Also, Fisher says he will wait to see which JD Vance will show up in the Senate after he didn't mention former President Donald Trump in his acceptance speech Tuesday night, despite receiving Trump's endorsement and attending a rally with him Monday night.
"Is it the JD Vance who criticized Donald Trump? Is it the JD Vance who was gracious and conciliatory in his victory speech last night (Tuesday)? Or is it the JD Vance who abruptly changed patterns and embraced Donald Trump, criticized (support for) Ukraine and was not always gracious in his campaign?" Fisher questions.
Vance pledged to serve Ohioans, regardless of whether they cast their ballots for him.
"Whether you voted for me or not, the thing that I promise to do is go to the United State Senate and fight every single day for the people of Ohio," he told his supporters on Tuesday night. "Thanks to you, we get the opportunity to do just that."
Meanwhile, Republican strategist and attorney Mehek Cooke says Vance now has the opportunity to unify the party.
"He (Vance) also has said it himself and I'm pleased to have somebody who is going to be a statesman like Rob Portman. Let's forget the politic-ing, let's forget the name calling, let's forget the blame game and let's start working on solutions that's truly what we need today," Cooke advises.
With the Senate still up for grabs between Republicans and Democrats, Vance's victory could turn out to be one of the keys in giving control to the GOP. Both Cooke and Fisher gave their predictions for what a Republican-controlled Senate might look like.
"The GOP will hold (Dr. Anthony) Fauci accountable, that needs to happen and others who are responsible for lockdowns, they'll hold the FBI accountable," Cooke stated.
"If the Republicans take over the Senate there's no question that they'll be extremely conservative on social issues, less restrictions on guns, more restrictions on a woman's right to choose, but when it comes to the economy, I actually believe that is not a partisan issue," Fisher added.