J.D. Vance, the Republican nominee for Senate in Ohio, said Tuesday evening that he would accept the results of his election — while also saying he stood by his false claims that the 2020 election had been “stolen.”
“I expect to win,” Mr. Vance said in a town-hall-style event hosted by Fox News, before adding: “But, of course, if things don’t go the way that I expect, I’ll support the guy who wins and I’ll try to be as supportive as I possibly can, even accepting that we’re going to disagree on some big issues.”
But when one of the hosts, Martha MacCallum, noted that he had previously said the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump, whose endorsement propelled him to the nomination, Mr. Vance replied, “Yeah, look, I have said that, and I won’t run away from it.” He referred to state court rulings concerning elements of the way Pennsylvania had conducted its election, but none of those rulings called the results into question.
The town hall event was split between Mr. Vance and his Democratic rival in the Senate race, Representative Tim Ryan, with each candidate appearing separately and fielding questions from the moderators and the audience.
Mr. Ryan distanced himself from the left wing of the Democratic Party on inflation and abortion, something he has done often as he tries to win a Senate seat in a state that has shifted significantly to the right in recent years.
While denouncing Republican abortion bans as extreme and inhumane, he said he believed third-trimester abortions should be allowed only in medical emergencies. That distinguishes him from many other Democrats, who have said that abortion should always be a decision between women and their doctors and that the government should play no role in regulating it. (Third-trimester procedures are very rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of abortions in the United States.)
In promoting the ability of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act to live up to its name, Mr. Ryan highlighted its natural gas provisions, saying they would bring construction jobs to Ohio, while calling for tax cuts like an expanded child tax credit in the short term. He explicitly aligned himself with Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, whose objections limited the size of the legislation and ensured that natural gas provisions accompanied its clean energy measures.
Mr. Vance, in his own discussion of inflation, called for Congress to “stop the borrowing and spending” — without specifying the spending cuts he wanted — and alluded to more oil and gas production.
On abortion, he said he believed that “90 percent of abortion policy” should be set by state governments, while also indicating that he supported the 15-week federal ban proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.