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Trump-backed candidate wins Republican nomination for Ohio U.S. Senate seat

World May 03, 2022 11:46PM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Republican senate candidate JD Vance and Donald Trump Jr. host an event ahead of next month's primary election in Independence, Ohio, U.S., April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse 2/3

By Eric Cox and Nathan Layne

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Reuters) -J.D. Vance, a candidate for the U.S. Senate who is backed by Donald Trump, won the Republican primary vote in Ohio on Tuesday, in an early test of the former president's sway over his party as he eyes a possible White House run in 2024.

Trump upended the Ohio race last month by endorsing author and venture capitalist Vance ahead of the Nov. 8 congressional elections, catapulting him ahead of former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, also a staunch Trump supporter.

With almost all ballots counted, Vance led the Republican field with 32% of the vote, followed by Mandel with 24% and state lawmaker Matt Dolan with 23%, according to Edison Research.

While Vance's victory is a sign of Trump's endorsement power, every other major candidate besides Dolan had lobbied for Trump's support while advocating for his policies and parroting his false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

"It was a big night for Trumpism in the Ohio Republican Party. Not just in Vance's win but in a field that was dominated by candidates trying to out-Trump each other," said University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven.

"It was still a close race. He wasn’t able to shut this race down with a simple wave of his magic wand."

Vance, author of the "Hillbilly Elegy" book and a former Trump critic, will face Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, who won his Senate primary as had been expected.

"I have absolutely gotta thank the 45th, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump," Vance told the crowd at his election party in Cincinnati, before criticizing unnamed media outlets which he said had sought his and Trump's defeat. "Ladies and gentlemen, it ain't the death of the America First agenda."

Trump has not announced his plans for 2024, but he regularly hints that he intends to mount another presidential campaign.

Ryan, who briefly ran for president in 2020, has focused his campaign on working-class voters and the rejuvenation of manufacturing while taking a hardline on China and courting Trump supporters. After winning Tuesday's primary, he sent out a fundraising ad calling Vance an "out-of-touch millionaire."

"I want us to be the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. I want us to help this country leapfrog China," Ryan told a gathering of supporters. "We can do it by coming together."

Vance led the field in almost all the counties where most ballots had been counted, from deeply conservative rural counties to suburban areas that could be crucial to his hopes of beating Ryan. Vance's lead was especially wide in places like Clermont County, a suburb of Cincinnati, where he led Mandel 35% to 22%, with almost all ballots counted. Vance also had a large lead in rural Athens County in southern Ohio, one of the state's few counties won by U.S. President Joe Biden in 2020.

Nonpartisan election analysts favor Republicans' chances of winning in November to keep retiring Senator Rob Portman's seat.

Tuesday's contests, which included a Democratic rematch for a U.S. House seat in Ohio and primaries in Indiana, kicked off a series of critical nominating contests in the coming weeks, including primaries in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The influence of Trump, who has endorsed more than 150 candidates this year, will help determine whether Republicans, as expected, reverse their slim deficit in the House and also take control of the Senate, which is split 50-50 with Democrats owning the tie-breaking vote.

A loss of control of either chamber would allow Republicans to block Biden's legislative agenda and also to pepper his administration with politically damaging investigations.

REPUBLICAN PUSHBACK

Not all Republicans are blindly following Trump's lead. As in Ohio, where Senate candidates spent an unprecedented $66 million on advertising, Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania and North Carolina face well-funded Republican challengers.

Some Republicans worry that Trump's picks, like former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia, could prove too controversial to prevail against Democrats in November, imperiling the party's bid for Senate control.

Vance was not the choice of many party leaders in Ohio, and some have grumbled publicly about Trump's decision. The Club for Growth, a powerful conservative advocacy group, broadcast ads bashing Vance and stuck by their pick in the race, Mandel.

In the Republican primary for governor, incumbent Mike DeWine held off three far-right Republican challengers to win the nomination, despite criticism from many conservatives for his business shutdowns and other policies during the pandemic.

DeWine will face former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who won the Democratic primary, becoming the first woman in Ohio history to secure a major party's backing for the governorship.

In a closely watched Democratic race, incumbent Shontel Brown handily defeated progressive candidate Nina Turner in the congressional district which includes Cleveland. The contest was seen as a measure of the power balance between the establishment -- represented by Brown -- and more liberal wings of the party.

In Indiana, Air Force veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green beat six Republican challengers to win the nomination for a congressional district in a historically Democratic stronghold outside Chicago increasingly seen as having the potential to be competitive. She will attempt to oust freshman Democratic Representative Frank Mrvan, who easily won his primary on Tuesday night.

Trump-backed candidate wins Republican nomination for Ohio U.S. Senate seat
 

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Comments (10)
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 6:00AM ET
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trump lost by 3 million votes to hillary in 2016, he again lost to biden by 8 million same Americans more than trump. why would anyone hitch their wagon to a two time popular vote loser?gluten for punishment?
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 6:00AM ET
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sane not same, sorry
John Laurens
John Laurens May 04, 2022 6:00AM ET
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after the cheating? seemingly. Eventually, the left won't be able to keep stealing elections. America knows 2020 was stolen. The numbers will grow and grow until the cheating is blatantly absurd to everyone.
Ken Roth
Ken Roth May 04, 2022 3:29AM ET
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Why dont the republican liars who believe in trumps lies emigrate to Russia for the sake of us all….they seem to admire tyrants and liars
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 3:29AM ET
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I agree wholeheartedly!
John Laurens
John Laurens May 04, 2022 3:29AM ET
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it's the left who hate America. They should catch the next plane to a fascist country. They all love it so much.
William Smith
William Smith May 04, 2022 12:32AM ET
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Stolen elections have consequences.
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 12:32AM ET
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it's funny that you say that, how about attempting criminally through mob rule to overturn a fair election doesn't bother you? weird!
gab nea
gab nea May 04, 2022 12:32AM ET
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repeating trump's lies is not becoming anymore!
John Laurens
John Laurens May 04, 2022 12:32AM ET
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exactly.
Al Ose
Al Ose May 03, 2022 10:24PM ET
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Weirdo
Forex Harbingers
ForexHarbingers May 03, 2022 10:24PM ET
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Here we are 6 years later and Trump still live absolutely rent free in all their heads.
John Laurens
John Laurens May 03, 2022 10:24PM ET
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delicious liberal tears..
Leonard Kong
Leonard Kong May 03, 2022 10:19PM ET
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FU Vance. Trump is a con man bum.
SS ABCD
SS ABCD May 03, 2022 3:19PM ET
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The author purely biased, hello Your braindeads crime family not only needs to be brought to justice,but, receive the proper punishment for Treason!
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 03, 2022 1:15PM ET
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GOP : Government Operating Poorly.
dar dar
dar dar May 03, 2022 1:15PM ET
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you're correct no better no worse than the other party theft by a thousand knives
SS ABCD
SS ABCD May 03, 2022 1:15PM ET
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Hmmm, and this is smooth running?? Do you live in the U.S.??
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 03, 2022 12:45PM ET
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Trumps simps are so mind cucked haha
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp May 03, 2022 6:24AM ET
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Would you post a story about the “grip” on Biden voters. So funny
James Pattison
James Pattison May 03, 2022 6:24AM ET
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Biden grips his voters by sneaking up behind them… and smelling their hair… even the really young ones
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 03, 2022 6:24AM ET
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Correct. Democrats arent obsessed simps for Biden.
Jurgen Daub
Jurgen Daub May 03, 2022 6:24AM ET
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i think thats a lot better than to smell somebodies forever before kissing it
 
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