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LaRose denounces 'Great Replacement' theory, but reiterates support for Vance

 Signs for Trump endorsed U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance were prominently displayed over Delaware County Fairgrounds for the former presidents rally on April 23, 2022
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Signs for Trump endorsed U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance were prominently displayed over Delaware County Fairgrounds for the former presidents rally on April 23, 2022

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, said he still thinks the party's U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance is the "right person for the job" when asked to respond to comments, made by Vance, supporting the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory.

The "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory is the unfounded belief that non-white people are being brought into the country to "replace" white voters. The conspiracy theory is gaining renewed attention after the man accused of killing 10 people during a mass shooting in Buffalo allegedly wrote a 180-page document that echoed 'Great Replacement' beliefs.

LaRose called the conspiracy theory "sick and racist" ideology. But Vance espouses views similar to "Great Replacement."

More: What is the 'Great Replacement' and how is it tied to the Buffalo shooting suspect?

Vance, who won the Republican nomination less than two weeks after receiving the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, is running for U.S. Senate against Democratic nominee Tim Ryan.

In a campaign ad, Vance said "Joe Biden’s open border is killing Ohioans with more illegal drugs and more Democrat voters pouring into this country."

On a Fox News segment earlier this year, Vance explained his belief that immigration is being used by business interests and Democratic leaders to accomplish their goals in the workplace and at voting booth.

“They are accomplishing the invasion of the country, that they should love, but of course they don't. You have to ask yourself who is benefitting from this and who is getting rich from it. And there's two big answers. First of all, Chamber of Commerce-style Republicans and Democrats who love the cheap labor, who love the fact that these immigrants are displacing America's workers but also Democrat politicians who have decided that they can't win re-election in 2022 unless they bring in a large number of new voters to replace the voters who are already here. That’s what this is about. We have an invasion in this country because very powerful people get richer and more powerful because of it. It’s not bad policy. It’s evil and we need to call it that,” Vance told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

More: How the 'Replacement' theory went mainstream on the political right

LaRose was asked about "Great Replacement" and his endorsement of Vance.

“I think that’s lunacy. I think it’s a sick and racist ideology. It’s not something that I believe. I don’t know exactly what Mr. Vance has said about that. I supported him because I think he’s the right man for the job. I still think that," LaRose said.

LaRose said he looks forward to helping Vance campaign this summer. Vance's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.