The power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement appears to be strong in Ohio after his chosen candidate, J.D. Vance, scored a victory Tuesday in the Buckeye State’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate.
Vance emerges from a bruising primary in a crowded field of candidates, most of whom were seeking Trump’s endorsement and played up their support or connections to the former president. Trump chose Vance, whom polls show was lagging, for his endorsement just weeks before the primary.
In November, Vance will face Rep. Tim Ryan, a one-time presidential candidate who has spent almost two decades in Congress. Ryan won the Democratic nomination for Ohio’s open Senate seat.
The 2022 midterm elections were dealt a potential bombshell Monday when a leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade was published.
But it’s not clear that news played any role Tuesday as two states – Ohio and Indiana – held their primary elections. Tuesday marked the first elections in a string of primaries that will be conducted across the country over the next few months.
Vance, Mandel, Trump:The crowded Republican Senate primary in Ohio has produced some of the most tense moments
‘Rough and tumble politics’:Senate primary in Ohio shows shifting tone among GOP candidates
Indiana primary election underway:Education, abortion top of mind for voters
Shontel Brown wins re-match over Nina Turner in battle of progressives
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, will retain her seat in Congress after winning a Democratic primary re-match over former Bernie Sanders aide Nina Turner.
The race, like last year’s special election, featured internal ideological battles within the Democratic Party.
Turner, a former state senator and co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, again failed to convince voters that she was more progressive candidate.
– David Jackson
J.D. Vance won the fractious GOP primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat. Now he’s trying to unite his party.
Vance emerged Tuesday from a field of seven Republicans as the GOP nominee in a campaign that prompted $66 million in ad spending, much of it going to attacks. The final weeks brought millions more in spending by outside groups pushing Vance and his closest competition, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
After he was declared the winner on Tuesday, Vance made an appeal to the voters who supported his opponents, praising their campaigns.
“Some of the best people in the state of Ohio voted for Josh Mandel tonight,” he said. “I hope to earn your support.”
– Rick Rouan
Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author who won former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, will be the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Ohio.
Vance was trailing in the crowded field before Trump weighed in just a few weeks before Election Day. But polls showed his support exploded after the endorsement, propelling him to an election night victory.
The campaign was among the most charged – and expensive – in the country. Candidates spent more than $66 million on advertising, and two candidates had to be separated on a debate stage as they jawed nose-to-nose.
But it was Vance who prevailed. The venture capitalist disavowed Trump in 2016 only to win his endorsement six years later.
He will face off against Rep. Tim Ryan, a longtime Ohio congressman who won the Democratic primary.
– Rick Rouan
Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has won the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio, and will now try to do something historic: Become the state’s first female chief executive.
Whaley will face incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine, who handily won the state’s Republican primary.
Calling the race for Whaley, the Associated Press said she “is the first woman in the state’s history to receive a major party’s backing for the top office.”
In the hours before the primary, Whaley cited the abortion issue as a major factor.
– David Jackson
Vance leads in early voting for Ohio GOP Senate primary
Former President Donald Trump’s pick in the Ohio GOP primary for U.S. Senate is leading in early returns.
Unofficial vote totals from Ohio’s early voting period show venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance has about 20.4% of the vote, leading ex-Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (17.6%) and state Sen. Matt Dolan (17.2%).
About 150,000 Republicans voted early in Ohio, which offers one month of in-person early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. The early results represent those votes, and Election Day votes will be added throughout the night.
Financier Mike Gibbons, who led in early polls in Ohio, had about 14.5% of the vote. Former Ohio GOP chairman Jane Timken had 13%. Two other candidates each had about 8%.
All of the candidates except Dolan competed for Trump’s endorsement, which came with just a few weeks left in the campaign. Polling showed Vance’s numbers middling before Trump’s endorsement and a late surge ahead of Election Day.
– Rick Rouan
Gov. Mike DeWine was praised by Democrats and criticized by his own party for the steps he took in the early days of the global pandemic.
But despite those disagreements, many GOP voters said the sitting governor was still their guy.
Former Congressman Jim Renacci, farmer Joe Blystone and former state Rep. Ron Hood all challenged DeWine from the right, but polling has consistently put the governor ahead.
Even Democratic voters Sara and Robert Frato, who picked Nan Whaley for governor, said they appreciated DeWine’s leadership.
“We are not Republican, but we felt DeWine did a good job,” Sarah Frato said.
– The Columbus Dispatch
To no one’s surprise, Democratic congressman Tim Ryan is the party’s nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio.
Ryan scored more than 70% over two little-known candidates in early returns, enough for the Associated Press and others to project him as the winner shortly after the polls closed.
Now Ryan gets to sit back and see which Republican he will face in the fall.
– David Jackson
Polls close in Ohio
Polls have closed in Ohio’s primary. Now the waiting begins.
Ohioans voted today to nominate major party candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat, 15 congressional seats, governor and a handful of other statewide races. The GOP primary for Senate was a free-for-all of seven candidates, including former President Donald Trump’s pick, J.D. Vance.
Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, left an open Senate seat when he decided against running for reelection. Ohio previously had 16 congressional seats but lost one in reapportionment following the 2020 decennial census.
Statehouse seats were not on Ohio’s primary ballot as the state continues to be mired in legal challenges of its newly drawn district maps.
– Rick Rouan
Retiring Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, told reporters Tuesday afternoon that low turnout could help his preferred candidate, former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken.
“I gotta tell you, turnout is so low in early voting and in absentee voting that I think it’s an indicator of low turnout in the election itself,” Portman said.
“I expect a low turnout which could help those who have the ground game, and the one who has the best ground game is actually Jane Timken,” he added. In February, Portman endorsed Timken to replace him.
– Dylan Wells
Ohio’s Senate race is the main event but there are other contests, notably gubernatorial primaries.
As soon as the news spread that Politico had a copy of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Democrats across Ohio started reacting, especially in the race for governor.
“It has never been more important to elect a genuinely pro-choice candidate to be Ohio’s next governor,” former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in a statement. “If you care about reproductive rights, we need your vote tomorrow–full stop.”
Whaley has always supported abortion access. But her primary challenger, former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, started his political career as a “pro-life Democrat,” a point that Emily’s List, the abortion rights advocacy group, hammered when he entered the race last year.
“Any Democrat who goes into the voting booth today has abortion at the center of their thoughts, and that certainly advantages Nan Whaley.” University of Cincinnati political professor David Niven said.
Cranley, who started supporting abortion access after having children with his wife, called the news from Washington “an outrageous attack on the dignity and freedom of all women.”
– The Columbus Dispatch
Indiana’s U.S. Senate primary is a one-person race: Incumbent Todd Young
Ohio isn’t the only state holding a U..S. Senate primary Tuesday – though the one in neighboring Indiana is pretty cut-and-dried.
While five Republicans battle it out in Ohio, incumbent Republican Sen. Todd Young faces no opposition in Indiana despite an unusual distinction: He has not been endorsed by Donald Trump.
Young has said Trump bears some responsibility for the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021, but the former president didn’t – or couldn’t – solicit a challenger to the popular Indiana senator.
Trump did leave Young off his endorsement list for Indiana, but it doesn’t look like it will make much difference. Young is a big favorite in a fall race against the Democratic candidate, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott.
Only three other Republican senators up for re-election lack a Trump endorsement this year: John Thune of South Dakota, Jim Lankford of Oklahoma and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all of whom have clashed with Trump.
– David Jackson
Ohio’s Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat was big business for the state’s broadcasters.
Columbus ad-tracking firm Medium Buying pegged broadcast advertising by GOP Senate candidates and interest groups north of $66 million, according to the USA Today Network’s Ohio Bureau.
That total dwarfed previous campaign spending in the Buckeye State, the Ohio Bureau reported, driven by wealthy candidates bankrolling their own campaigns. Financier Mike Gibbons spent about $13 million on advertising, and state Sen. Matt Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians baseball team, spent about $8.5 million on advertising.
Primaries matter:Think Congress is too partisan now? Primaries could magnify division as the number of swing districts shrinks
Outside groups supporting venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance and ex-Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel also contributed to millions in ad spending on the race.
– Rick Rouan
Political observers are keeping a close eye on Ohio, but Buckeye State voters appear to be staying home.
Turnout in some of the state’s largest counties is trending low even as early-voting totals surpassed the 2018 primary. Severe weather could crimp turnout even more, as swaths of the state are bracing for severe weather as polls close.
Early voting totals actually surpassed the 2018 primary, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. But in Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, was less than 13% as of 4:15 p.m. In Hamilton County, where Cincinnati is the county seat, it was less than 12%. In 2018, they were about 24% and 20%, respectively.
Statewide voter turnout in the 2018 primary was about 20%.
GOP Sen. Rob Portman, whose impending retirement created the open seat, told reporters in Washington Tuesday he expects a low turnout “which could help those who have a ground game.”
– Rick Rouan
Tuesday is not just primary day in Ohio, it’s the start of the fall races between the two parties – and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan is serving notice he will make abortion a big issue against his Republican opponent, whoever it is.
“Every single one of my GOP opponents supports extreme, restrictive anti-abortion laws. We cannot let them near the Senate,” Ryan tweeted as Democrats and Republicans trooped to the primary polls.
Campaign spending:‘Unprecedented’ Ohio Senate race spending hits record $66 million ahead of Tuesday primary
Ryan stressed the issue a day after a leaked document from the Supreme Court indicated that a majority of the justices are poised to strike down Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
The Republican Senate candidates in Ohio – J.D. Vance, Josh Mandel, Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, and Jane Timken – oppose abortion rights.
Other Republicans criticized Ryan for hopping on a leaked opinion that may not be the final ruling of the Supreme Court.
The Democratic candidate “is already using the insane leak for the Supreme Court to raise money. Vile, disgusting, and useless,” tweeted Bernie Moreno, a former Republican Senate candidate who dropped out of the race in February.
– David Jackson
Who is J.D. Vance?
J.D. Vance is an author and venture capitalist who wrote “Hillbilly Elegy,” a tale about growing up in a working-class Ohio community. He is well-known in conservative circles for his frequent appearances on shows like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. Vance, a political outsider, had been trailing in the polls behind other GOP candidates before he scored Donald Trump’s endorsement. Here is what else to know about Vance.
Who is Josh Mandel?
Josh Mandel has been a fixture in Ohio politics for more than a decade. The ex-Ohio treasurer is in his third run for Senate. Mandel hoped to win Trump’s backing by embracing his “America First” agenda and falsely proclaiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump. Mandel, who is endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, trailed only behind Vance in the latest Fox News poll. Here is what else to know about Mandel.
Who is Mike Gibbons?
Mike Gibbons led the GOP primary polls before Trump announced his support for Vance. He is a millionaire investment banker who self-financed much of campaign. His pitch centers on being “a businessman, not a politician.” He fell short in the Republican primary during his first bid for Senate during the 2018 midterm elections. Here is what else to know about Gibbons.
Who is Tim Ryan?
Veteran Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan looks poised to win his party’s nomination in the Ohio Senate race. He enters today’s primary election with endorsements from the Democratic Party and Ohio’s Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. Ryan, who ran in the 2020 presidential race, has represented Ohio in the House of Representatives since 2003. Here is what else to know about Ryan.
Who is Morgan Harper?
Harper is pitching herself to Democratic voters as the progressive alternative to Ryan. The former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lawyer emphasized on the campaign trail her refusal to take money from corporate political action committees and touts policy proposals similar to those promoted by members of “the Squad” and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Here is what else to know about Harper.