Roundup: How Ohio’s Republican Senate Candidates Spent Their Summer Making The Primary Nastier, More Chaotic, And More Expensive

Columbus, OH — As summer comes to a close, we’re looking back at how Ohio’s Republican Senate candidates spent their time making this primary even nastier, more chaotic, and more expensive — and making conservatives “deeply worried” about the prospects of Republicans losing this seat. 

“GOP Senate candidates spent this summer injecting even more nasty personal attacks, more chaos, and more money into this out-of-control primary, all at the expense of Ohio voters and the issues they care about. No matter which millionaire politician emerges from this crowded primary field, the damage from these messy summer months will last well into the general election,” said Michael Beyer, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party. 

NASTY: 

  • Mandel regularly took swipes at Vance over social media, sharing clips where Mandel claimed Vance was agreeing with Obama and comparing him to anti-Trump former Governor John Kasich. Mandel also tried to tie Timken to Kasich.
  • Timken supporters wrote a letter to support her, calling her a “Trump Champion” and attacking Vance, Mandel, and others for their insufficient support for the former president.
  • Vance was repeatedly attacked by way of anonymous text messages for being a “never Trumper” before he had even announced his candidacy.
  • The rivalry between Vance and Mandel has heated up, with Mandel accusing Vance of taking the money from his non-profit and using it for his political campaign.

CHAOTIC: 

  • Vance’s entrance into the race added more chaos to an already unwieldy and crowded primary. 
  • Leading candidates continued to trade blows over their history with and allegiance to Donald Trump, and showed no signs of slowing down. 
  • Timken came under fire for highlighting a photo of her and Trump under her website’s “endorsements” page. 
  • Vance deleted his tweets that were critical of Trump in an attempt to shield himself against criticism.

EXPENSIVE: 

  • California tech billionaire Peter Thiel dumped $10 million into a super PAC supporting Vance, who entered the race this summer. Since his entrance into the race, he’s been fundraising in the ritzy Hamptons currying favor from other millionaires.  
  • The packed GOP field revealed their “eye-popping” financial disclosures that showed their vast wealth and highlighted there are significant resources for many candidates still to spend. 
  • Gibbons is already spending $10 million on TV and radio and has loaned millions of dollars to his campaign. Moreno has argued he raised the most money and is ready to spend it on this costly primary.  
  • At least one more wealthy Republican — State Senator Matt Dolan — is expected to enter the race, in a crowded primary with many well-funded candidates sure to make the race more expensive. 

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