Ryan Now Blasts Ohio Senate Rival Vance on Law Enforcement, But Once Called Criminal Justice System ‘Racist’

Advertising from Democratic Ohio Senate candidate Tim Ryan, which alleges that his Republican opponent J.D. Vance has disparaged law-enforcement officers, prompted Vance this week to recall Ryan’s own severe criticisms of law enforcers.

A video ad that appears on the Ryan campaign’s YouTube channel features a monologue by Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier. 

“I love serving my community as Sheriff,” Maier said. “So when J.D. Vance calls law enforcement ‘corrupt,’ it makes me angry. That makes my job harder.” Maier goes on to rebuke Vance for having once called for abolishing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency Vance has castigated for the extent of its gun-sale-tracking activities. 

Ryan’s campaign did not respond to an email from The Ohio Star which inquired about when his opponent referred to police or other criminal-justice officials as “corrupt.” The Republican candidate has alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation breached the law in wiretapping former President Donald Trump’s phone. 

In response to the Democrat’s message, Vance and allies pointed out that Ryan, who has represented Youngstown and surrounding areas since 2003, said in a 2019 Paine College appearance, “I believe the current criminal justice system is racist. I believe in my heart it’s the new Jim Crow.” (Ryan was seeking the Democratic nomination for president and was thus visiting Georgia at the time.) 

After Daily Caller correspondent Henry Rodgers pointed out Ryan’s earlier statement and attached the video clip, Vance himself retweeted it, asking, “Hey @TimRyan care to comment?” 

Donald Trump Jr. weighed in with his own Twitter message: “Yikes!!! We already knew that Two-Faced Tim Ryan was a flip-flopping fraud, but now he’s been exposed as a leftwing anti-police radical.”

Richard Grenell, who served as acting Director of National Intelligence and in ambassadorial roles under Trump’s father’s administration, tweeted, “I hope every police officer in Ohio and their family members see what @TimRyan said in 2019. He joined the mob’s attacks on law enforcement! Disgraceful.”

The Democratic candidate’s video message purports to show that Ryan has backed police.

“Tim Ryan knows defunding the police is ridiculous,” Maier said in the ad; he went on to praise the congressman for backing $467 million for Ohio law-enforcement funding. 

But the National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a statement that the lawmaker’s position on police funding has actually varied. The committee pointed out that Ryan opposed a GOP motion to condemn police defunding in March 2021. 

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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Ohio Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tim Ryan” by Tim Ryan. Photo “J.D. Vance” by J.D. Vance. 



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