Venture capitalist and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance reportedly told colleagues that he was probably planning to run for Senate in Ohio next year, Axios reported Thursday. But rumors about his political candidacy have been circulating for weeks.
Last month, tech billionaire Peter Thiel—whom Vance worked for previously at Mithril Capital—gave $10 million to Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC that is supporting Vance, ahead of next year’s race to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman. The conservative Mercer family, which has financially backed Breitbart, also gave the PAC an undisclosed amount, a spokesperson for the PAC told Forbes last month.
Though Vance has never run for political office before, his origin story is well known. After growing up in poverty in Appalachia, Vance eventually graduated from Yale Law School, and later worked for Thiel in Silicon Valley.
He released a memoir in June 2016, which was hailed by the mainstream press at the time as providing an explanation for, among other things, Donald Trump’s popularity in Appalachia and the decline of rural America. Last year, the book was turned into a Netflix movie starring Amy Adams as Vance’s mother and Glenn Close as his grandmother.
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