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Trump-backed J.D. Vance wins Senate seat in Ohio over Democrat Tim Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, seen here in May, has been elected to the Senate, taking a seat previously held by Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring.
LORAIN , OH - MAY 2: U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, speaks during a rally in support of the Bartlett Maritime project, a proposal to build a submarine service facility for the U.S. Navy, on May 2, 2022 in Lorain, Ohio. The rally was organized by the Ohio AFL-CIO, Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Bartlett Marine Corporation. According to organizers, the proposal would create thousands of jobs for the region. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Follow live updates and results from Election Day 2022 here .

Ohio is sending GOP candidate J.D. Vance to the Senate. He beat Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring.

Vance rose to conservative prominence after writing the memoir Hillbilly Elegy, and received support from former President Donald Trump right before the primary election.

Vance had a history of criticizing the former president. In 2016, he called Trump "reprehensible" and an "idiot," but in his primary campaign, Vance did a 180 and said those comments were "stupid." He has since referred to Trump as "the greatest president in my lifetime."

Currently, Democrats hold a narrow majority in the House, and the Senate is split at 50-50, with Vice President Harris holding a tie-breaking vote. Control of the Senate was expected to be decided by Ohio and a handful of other states.

Vance's win blocks one avenue for the Democrats to keep their majority.

Deepa Shivaram contributed to this report. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.