After former President Donald Trump Friday endorsed J.D. Vance in Ohio’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Vance’s opponent and current leader in the polls reacted.
“I continue to be a proud supporter of President Trump and the America First agenda. I look forward to earning his endorsement in the general election and working with him to defeat Tim Ryan in November,” said former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel.
I continue to be a proud supporter of President Trump and the America First agenda.
I look forward to earning his endorsement in the general election and working with him to defeat Tim Ryan in November.
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) April 15, 2022
Trump’s endorsement ended months-long speculation about whether he would involve himself in the primary race.
“MAGA patriots from across the nation are set to deliver an election landside [sic] for Republicans that will serve as a devastating rebuke of the failures of Joe Biden and the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump said in his Friday statement. “In the Great State of Ohio, the candidate most qualified and ready to win in November is J.D. Vance. We cannot play games. It is all about winning!”
Vance thanked Trump for his support.
“I’m incredibly honored to have President Trump’s support. He was an incredible fighter for hard working Americans in the White House, he will be again, and I’ll fight for the America First Agenda in the Senate,” Vance said.
I'm incredibly honored to have President Trump's support. He was an incredible fighter for hard working Americans in the White House, he will be again, and I'll fight for the America First Agenda in the Senate. https://t.co/s3d3JhTgBC
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) April 15, 2022
A poll released Friday by the Trafalgar Group showed Vance in second place in what is a crowded primary race. He was about five points behind Mandel.
But that poll also showed that Trump’s endorsement is likely to sway Ohio’s voters in favor of the former president’s preferred candidate.
More than 26 percent of respondents said they would be “much more likely” to support the candidate endorsed by Trump. while more than 28 percent said they would be “more likely” to support that candidate.
Trump is also scheduled to host a rally in Delaware County ahead of the May 3 primary, which will now likely feature Vance as a speaker.
The winner of the primary race is likely to face U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) in the general election, though Democrat Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton is challenging him in that primary race.
November’s general election will fill the U.S. Senate seat that is set to be vacated by outgoing Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who is retiring.
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