COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jane Timken, former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP), announced Thursday she will seek the 2022 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that is currently occupied by Republican Rob Portman who announced last month he will retire from federal politics at the end of his current term.
Today I am announcing my run for U.S. Senate.
I simply can’t sit on the sidelines and watch Joe Biden and the Socialist left rollback all the progress we’ve made under President Trump.https://t.co/E1IfUflUm4
— Jane Timken (@JaneyMurph) February 18, 2021
Timken resigned from her post at the ORP two weeks ago, a move that triggered rumors she was going to run.
Timken has never held public office, however, she and her family have long been Republican power brokers and fundraisers in Stark and Summit Counties.
In 2010, Timken took on an official role in the Ohio GOP, winning election as chairwoman in 2017.
Last week, she began assembling a team when she hired a campaign finance expert and a campaign manager – both workers aided US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to a 21-point win in his 2016 race against former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat.
Both also guided Steve Chabot’s unexpected 2020 re-election to the U.S. House following a scandal involving his former campaign manager.
The former GOP boss will be opposed by two-time Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel who announced his run for the Republican nomination last week, saying “watching this sham impeachment made my blood boil and motivated me to run.”
Mandel won statewide election as treasurer and earned the Republican spot for the 2012 U.S. Senate race in which he battled institutional Democrat and progressive incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown – a race he lost by six points. Mandel raised $25 million in that contest.
Mandel filed to run in the 2018 U.S. Senate race, dropping out before the primary election.
In her 2017 effort to become GOP chairwoman, as she did in her Thursday YouTube announcement posted to her Twitter account, Timken campaigned as a “uniter” and someone the party needed to “run for all Republicans not one particular candidate or group of candidates” – claiming the party should not endorse candidates in a primary.
However, according to a report, in 2018 Tim Timken (Jane’s Husband and former CEO of TimkenSteel), held a fundraising event for then-U.S. Congress candidate for Ohio House District 16, Anthony Gonzalez. The former Buckeye and NFL receiver was battling Republican Christina Hagan in the primary election – a race Gonzalez ended up winning by about 8,000 votes.
During the 2018 primary election the ORP under Timken’s leadership endorsed Mike DeWine over his Republican primary opponent Mary Taylor. This despite Taylor being a stronger Second Amendment proponent according to gun groups (and having a concealed carry license herself), and voicing public opposition to former Governor Kasich’s Medicaid expansion initiative – Ohio is projected to spend $32 billion on Medicaid in 2021.
In her video announcement, Timken said, “I cleaned house of the Kasich establishment who tried to elect Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.” (Read the full transcript of the video at the end of the article.)
Kasich left office with more support from Democrats than Republicans. Currently, only 23% of Republicans seem likely to vote for DeWine in a primary, while almost 40% would vote for an unnamed “qualified Republican.” Republican lawmakers sought to impeach the governor – a move Timken called “despicable.”
Furthermore, DeWine has also lost the support of his own party on how he has handled the coronavirus when every Republican in the Ohio Senate voted for Senate Bill 22 – to disarm DeWine and his cabinet’s total reign of power under an unlimited state of emergency that has gone without legislative oversight. Last year, both the House and Senate passed a similar bill – Senate Bill 311 (which DeWine vetoed).
As much as she claims she separated from Kasich, Timken’s record shows entanglements with DeWine – certainly common for a state party leader and a governor from the same party. However, the moments when DeWine and his administration went off the party platform were also times the governor had Timken’s backing.
She showed unflappable support of DeWine’s work to enact red flag gun laws, ignore the job losses and above-average unemployment in Ohio prior to COVID, meanwhile misrepresenting facts surrounding refugee resettlement programs and edifying DeWine’s push for them.
Data show a long history of pay-to-play and money funneling involving the ORP handing money from donors to individual candidates. The ORP, under Timken, contributed $4.2 million to the DeWine/Husted, 2018 fund.
A series of reports suggests Timken helped former Speaker Larry Householder in his quest to become speaker – a plot federal investigators stung alleging the scheme amounted to a $60 million bribery and racketeering arrangement that installed Householder as speaker and ensured passage of a bill that provided a $1 billion bailout for FirstEnergy companies.
A long list of Republicans may still throw their hats in the ring. One person on that list is Cleveland-area businessman Mike Gibbons, a 2018 Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate.
In an email to The Ohio Star, Gibbons wrote, “With the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee preparing to elect a new Chairman and for the 2022 elections,” that “we the people” – Ohio voters and not the Central Committee – should decide primary elections without state party endorsements.” Gibbons statement is here.
TRANSCRIPT: “Jane Timken for Ohio”
Ohio is the greatest state in America. Grit and determination are in our DNA. Our communities are strong. Our workers are tough. Ohioans never, ever give up.
I’m Jane Timken. I’m a mom and a proud Ohioan.
I was born in Cincinnati and raised my family here in Canton.
When I look at Washington today, I see threats to our freedoms that will jeopardize the futures of my kids and yours:
Amnesty, for 12 million illegal immigrants;
The largest tax increase in American history;
Liberal attacks on our energy jobs.
We can’t let America become a socialist country.
I’m running for the United States Senate to stand up for you, just like when I stood next to President Trump and supported his ‘America First’ agenda that created jobs and brought manufacturing back to our shores.
As Ohio Republican Party Chairman, I cleaned house of the Kasich establishment who tried to elect Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden.
I unified the party and delivered a second decisive Ohio win for President Trump.
As your Senator, I’ll advance the Trump agenda without fear or hesitation – fighting for American manufacturing and Ohio workers.
Defending the unborn and our Second Amendment.
Standing up for law enforcement and stronger borders.
Like every tough Ohioan, I know how to fight and I know how to win.
I’m Jane Timken and I’m ready to show Washington what Ohio is made of.
Timken’s official website is here.
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Jack Windsor is State House Reporter at The Ohio Star. Windsor is also an independent investigative reporter. Follow Jack on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]