Thursday, April 15, 2021

Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance leaves AppHarvest board after controversial political tweets; may run for Senate

"AppHarvest announced Wednesday that author J.D. Vance is no longer a board member of the Eastern Kentucky mega-greenhouse company, days after he made controversial comments on Twitter," Liz Moomey reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. "Vance authored Hillbilly Elegy and is the co-founder and partner of Narya, a venture capital firm in Ohio. He was an early AppHarvest investor."

On April 9, Vance tweeted that Fox News host Tucker Carlson was "the only powerful figure who consistently challenges elite dogma — on both cultural and economic questions," which is "why they try to destroy him." In an April 12 tweet, Vance criticized corporations that protest voting-rights restrictions, saying states should "raise their taxes and do whatever else is necessary to fight these goons."

AppHarvest Chief Communications Officer Travis Parman told Moomey it would be inappropriate to discuss Vance's motivation for leaving the board. CEO Jonathan Webb issued a statement thanking Vance and another departing board member for their early support of the company.

Vance, who lives in Cincinnati, is considering a race for the U.S. Senate from Ohio next year.

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