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Meet Usha Chilukuri Vance, the Indian American Wife of Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary Winner J.D. Vance

Meet Usha Chilukuri Vance, the Indian American Wife of Ohio’s GOP Senate Primary Winner J.D. Vance

  • The Cincinnati-based couple has been married since 2014 and has three children — two boys, and a girl.

Conservative commentator, venture capitalist, and author J.D. Vance has won the Ohio GOP Senate primary. Vance, who was endorsed by former President Trump, defeated six others including former state treasurer Josh Mandel and Indian American businessman Neil Patel. He will now face Democrat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan in November to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman. 

Vance is best known for his memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy.” The movie version was released on Netflix in 2020. Vance’s books are described as “a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans.” Vance tells “the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck,” says goodreads.com. 

Axios reported that Vance, who was “once a vocal critic” of Trump, “now stands to become the MAGA standard-bearer in a state Trump won handily in 2016 and 2020.” It will be interesting to see if Trump’s backing can help him win the Senate seat. 

Usha Chilukuri Vance (Facebook). Top photo, @JDVance1, Instagram.

It will be equally interesting to see if Vance receives the backing from Indian Americans in the state, because of his wife. Vance is married to Usha Chilukuri Vance, a practicing attorney. The couple has been married since 2014, according to Chilukuri’s Facebook page. The couple has three children — two boys and a girl. 

Chilukuri works as an associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, her LinkedIn profile says. According to her bio on the firm’s website, she focuses on “complex civil litigation and appeals in a wide variety of sectors, including higher education, local government, entertainment, and technology. She works with the law firm’s San Francisco and Washington, D.C. offices. She has been licensed to practice law in California since June 2016, reported heavy.com, citing public records on the State Bar of California website.

In a 2017 interview with NBC News, Chilukuri said she and Vance met while they were both law students at Yale. She said she was attracted to Vance in part because of his positive attitude. “He felt very different,” she told Megyn Kelly.

Chilukuri grew up in San Diego, California, and attended Mt. Carmel High School. She moved to the East Coast for college and earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 2007. In 2009, she attended the University of Cambridge for a Master of Philosophy degree as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her profile on the program’s website explains that she focused on “the career of John Field, a printer who operated between 1642 and 1668 in London and Cambridge” and that her “MPhil project investigated the methods used for protecting printing rights in seventeenth-century England.”

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Chilukuri then returned to Yale for her law degree. While a student, she served as the executive development editor of the “Yale Law Journal” and as managing editor of the “Yale Journal of Law & Technology.” 

According to her LinkedIn profile, she served as a clerk for Chief Justice John G. Roberts. Before that, she clerked at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She worked for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2018. Chilukuri also clerked for Judge Amul Thapar at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2013 to 2014.

In a November 2020 profile on the Vances, The Cinemaholic noted that in “Hillbilly Elegy,” Vance wrote that “Usha helped him realize that he had baggage from his tumultuous upbringing even after he managed to achieve all his dreams.” She had told him that he had no idea of how to resolve a conflict, he wrote. He feared becoming like his mother, he wrote, but Usha made him see that all he had to do was talk to her to make her see his side of an argument.

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