DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio’s candidates for U.S. Senate both visited the Miami Valley on the campaign trial Wednesday, one of several visits just during October.

Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan made a stop at a roundtable for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I just want to continue the conversation on how we build up Dayton,” Ryan said. “I come from outside of Youngstown, which is very, very similar to Dayton.”

At the same time, J.D. Vance was in Middletown at the Butler County Republican Headquarters.

“If we had better leadership, the thing that makes Middletown so great could become much more prosperous, much safer, much freer, much more secure,” Vance said during the event.

Since the Miami Valley has less of a ground campaign going on for other races, this could be drawing Vance and Ryan here more often, adjunct professor with Wright State University Lee Hannah said.

Hannah said Ryan has represented Youngstown for dozens of years in Congress, for Ryan, it’s about getting attention in other areas.

“This area is large, it’s, you know, about the sixth largest, maybe even fifth largest region in the state,” Hannah said. “We didn’t have a debate in our area. And so there hasn’t been as much what we call earned media.”

Hannah said, while J.D. Vance has mostly made his name in other parts of the state, he has roots and a donor base in Middletown.

“Certainly that Middletown base has got to be helpful for for Vance, just like Tim Ryan should run ahead of his numbers in the Youngstown area,” Hannah said.

One difference this year is that these candidates are tailoring their message less toward the Miami Valley, and more toward broad issues everyone is facing.

“This really does feel like a campaign more about, you know, kind of national interest,” Hannah said.

Some of those topics are focusing on inflation, the economy, jobs and the Biden administration.

“We have to cut it out and get back to some common sense economic policies so families like mine can actually afford to live a good life here,” Vance said.

“It’s an exciting time, and I think we can keep going as we rebuild our downtowns in conjunction with the technology and the jobs of the future, like young kids are going to want to come back here,” Ryan said.

In the case of Ohio’s gubernatorial race, both Gov. Mike DeWine and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley are from the region, which means their focus may fall elsewhere in the state.

“What both candidates are probably thinking about, and certainly at the gubernatorial level, are these down the ballot contests,” Hannah said. “One thing that you might see is that they start to stage their appearances where they can also, you know, bring some visibility to a Ohio State House candidate or Ohio State Senate candidate.”

2 NEWS did try to interview J.D. Vance after Wednesday’s event and he declined an interview.