Ohio Republican Senate Candidates Step Up Competition for Trump’s Favor

The question that former President Donald Trump posed to the crowd on Saturday at his first campaign-style event since leaving the White House has likely put all hopefuls in the Ohio Republican Senate on high alert.

The competition for even a hint of Trump’s support in the still young race has become so intense in recent weeks that the contenders turned their visit into a shadow pre-selection. Now here was Trump, who weeks earlier had unexpectedly endorsed a North Carolina Senate candidate at a Republican Party state convention, apparently on the verge of yet another spontaneous anointing worthy of an episode of The Apprentice.

Jane Timken? Trump’s mention by the former Ohio GOP chairman drew mostly cheers, but also some boos. Josh Almond? The former state treasurer earned a louder cheering choir. Mike Gibbons? The investment banker deserves a polite applause
“I think we’re going to get out of this polling thing, huh?” Trump said feeling that his audience at the Lorain County Fairgrounds wasn’t interested in the exercise, he paused before giving them a chance to consider a fourth option, businessman Bernie Moreno.

Trump’s visit, which was primarily intended to benefit former aide Max Miller, who will challenge Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment in January, came as a ready fifth candidate. J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist and Hillbilly Elegy writer most recently known for his provocative tweets, has an announcement scheduled for Thursday in his hometown of Middletown. He attended the rally on Saturday, but Trump didn’t mention it.

While he wasn’t there for them and other issues and states seem to be more important, the former president’s appearance here on Saturday was the must of the summer for the state Republicans desperately fighting for the primaries. big Trump trail. The dynamic that is particularly strong in Ohio applies to other Republican primaries emerging before 2022.

“It seems to me in the Republican field that five kids are sticking their tongues out in a playground and saying, ‘Donald Trump likes me more than you,'” Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio, told NBC News after a news bulletin on Friday. Democratic Party Conference in Cleveland to counter Trump’s visit. “I mean, that’s basically what the Republican field looks like.”

Republican Senator Rob Portman, with whom Brown has developed a friendly working relationship, has no further term in office in 2022. Republicans’ prospects of succeeding him have fallen short of any positive sign from Trump. No tangible or tangential connection to Trump’s political orbit is too small to highlight. Any evidence that they have less than 100 percent support for Trump at any point since 2015 is an attack by a rival waiting for it to take place.

Some candidates were approaching the weekend as a possible continuation of the tense so-called “Hunger Games” reunion they had with Trump at a Miller fundraiser in Florida three months ago.

On the Friday before the rally began, more than 30 Timken allies issued a letter stating she was Trump’s closest ally in the race. Timken also ran a radio ad saying she was “very proud to have President Trump’s endorsement to run our party,” a reference not to the Senate race but to 2017 when Trump ran her bid the state-endorsed presidency party. And Vance teased an announcement for this Thursday.

On the day of the rally, the four declared candidates were divided. Timken and Gibbons dispatched their helpers and volunteers to the fairgrounds early to meet with voters. Gibbons had a back door party of food and drink. Mandel and Moreno activists said their campaigns chose not to have a huge presence and instead offered to help Miller, being aware that he and Mike Carey, a candidate in the August special for the 15th district of Ohio, the only two that Trump planned to endorse that night.
Timken mainly worked with the crowd. He chartered a plane to carry a banner over the fairground: “OHIO IS TRUMP COUNTRY” followed by a message on his website. Hours before Trump’s speech, she held a close pregame meeting for her grassroots volunteers before sending them out to include others

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