South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) on Tuesday endorsed former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken in the crowded GOP primary for U.S. Senate.
“I am proud to endorse Jane Timken for the United States Senate. I saw firsthand Jane’s leadership skills when she served as the first female chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP) and delivered the State of Ohio for President Trump by substantial margins in 2020,” Noem told Fox News when announcing the endorsement.
Noem, a notable ally of Trump, rose to national prominence throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic for her staunch, conservative leadership.
Noem’s endorsement rivals other notable supporters of frontrunners in the competition. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has endorsed Cleveland businessman and candidate Mike Gibbons. Further, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has endorsed former Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel. Author J.D. Vance has the financial backing of Peter Thiel, a billionaire and staunch, early Trump supporter
“Jane is a trailblazer who fights to keep Ohio red and she has never backed down from a fight. I am confident that Jane Timken will be a leader with grit, perseverance, and integrity, exactly what is needed to fight for Ohio values in Washington, DC,” the governor continued.
The endorsement by Noem appears to be centered around a larger approach by Timken to draw herself closer to former President Trump, as each candidate in the primary attempts to draw his endorsement.
However, Timken frustrated allies of Trump earlier this year when her campaign placed a picture of her and Trump together under the “Endorsements” section of her website.
Additionally, while Trump was taking an impromptu poll of his supporters, Timken’s name drew boos that rang from the crowd, highlighting a level of dissatisfaction from many Trump allies with the former Ohio GOP chairwoman.
Timken has also found herself connected to a $1.7 million reduction in equity in the retained earnings account for the ORP made in the 2017 unaudited financial statement and failure of the ORP to conduct audits of its financial statements for the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
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