Ohio Voters Should Expect Another Messy Week in GOP #OHSen Primary
June 21, 2021
Columbus, OH — Ohio voters can expect the already messy GOP Senate primary to get even messier this week as Republican candidates continue to ignore the needs of Ohioans to participate in failed blogger Donald Trump’s Hunger Games. As they stumble all over themselves to secure the support of the only voter they seem to care about, Republican candidates are too busy attacking one another and being exposed for the ways they’ll do anything to appease Trump to worry about the needs of the Ohio voters they claim to want to represent.
Last Friday, Jane Timken was caught in a fake-endorsement scheme and forced to take down a picture implicating that she had secured Trump’s endorsement on her website. The picture was immediately removed following reports that “people close to Trump” were unhappy with the image and other Republican candidates in the race went on the attack. In response, Timken’s campaign then used the fake-endorsement debacle to launch attacks of her own against fellow Republicans, calling her opponents “fake MAGA candidates and past quitters” to the Toledo Blade.
The mudslinging followed reports earlier in the week that exposed Timken and other GOP candidates for their past criticism and lack of support for Trump even as they now shift to prioritizing Trump’s support over the support of Ohio voters. National reports outline the ways in which GOP candidates in the race, including J.D. Vance, Josh Mandel and Timken, have tried to cover up their past words and actions in order to cater to the whims of one Florida resident above the interests of 11 million Ohioans.
“As Ohio Democrats are putting Ohio back on the road to recovery with shots in arms and money in pockets, GOP candidates running for Senate are only focused on the needs of one man: Donald Trump. Ohio voters are already sick of the Republican attacks and infighting, which is sure to only get worse over the coming days. While Ohioans are looking toward a better future thanks to Democratic leadership, GOP candidates are stuck in the past,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
Meanwhile, Ohio Democrats are laser focused on the needs of Ohio voters and efforts to Build Back Better in Ohio, as Ohio reported less than 200 COVID-19 cases yesterday and Ohio families with children are set to receive automatic payments next month, thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the work of Ohio Democrats.
Read more below about Republican candidates rough week last week, a preview of what’s to come:
- On Friday morning, a Politico reporter tweeted that Mr. Trump’s aides weren’t happy that Ms. Timken featured a photo of her and Mr. Trump on her endorsements page, appearing to imply — though it wasn’t stated — that she was Mr. Trump’s pick.
- Ms. Timken’s campaign also flagged a mailer from Mr. Mandel’s team that read “President Trump is counting on us,” which they argue improperly implies an endorsement from Mr. Trump. Mr. Mandel’s campaign declined to comment.
- Other candidates in the race seized on the episode to advance their own agendas.
- It’s not clear yet how, or if, the Senate candidates are going to be involved with the June 26 rally. But they may try to stake their claim to Mr. Trump regardless of whether they’re playing an officially sanctioned role in the event.
- In March a backroom meeting between the four declared Senate candidates at Mr. Trump’s Florida golf club turned into a scene out of The Hunger Games, Politico reported at the time.
- The battle for Trump’s endorsement in the Ohio race to replace GOP Sen. Rob Portman, meanwhile, asks whether personal loyalty to Trump or a record of support for his nationalist policies matters more to both the president himself and to voters.
- J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist-turned-author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” is considered all-but-certain to announce a run for the GOP nomination. But he is already on the receiving end of an anonymous text-message campaign informing Republican voters in Ohio about Vance’s numerous disparaging comments about Trump during the 2016 race, including a time he called Trump an “idiot.”
- When Timken sought Trump’s endorsement for her Senate bid, however, Trump reportedly backed off plans to endorse her after close advisers urged him to wait longer before settling on a favored candidate.
- In early February, while still serving as state party chair, Timken said Gonzalez was an “effective legislator,” while acknowledging, “I don’t know if I would have voted the way he did.”
- A few days later, Timken resigned as party chair ahead of her Senate run. And a few weeks later, as a Senate candidate, she called for Gonzalez to resign.
- Of course, Mandel has not always been a Trump loyalist. He boasts of being the first statewide elected Republican in Ohio to endorse Trump. But during the 2016 campaign, he appeared to be hedging his bets, declining to mention Trump’s name at a July 2016 speech to Republican state leaders and instead saying he was “focused on” reelecting Portman.