Tuesday night, Trump endorsed candidate and best-selling author JD Vance won Ohio’s Republican Senate Primary, after an intense showdown.
Despite other state primaries kicking off on Tuesday, the showdown to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman was the contest that grabbed national attention.
Vance’s victory is also a victory for former President Donald Trump who is testing his might as the most influential Republican within the party.
Fox News reports:
As the leading candidates tried to one-up each other in showcasing their support and loyalty to Trump, the nomination battle turned increasingly antagonistic. Things got so heated that two leading contenders – 2018 Ohio Republican Senate candidate Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland entrepreneur, real estate developer and investment banker, and former Ohio treasurer and former two-time Senate candidate Josh Mandel – nearly came to blows at a debate.
Trump stayed neutral until a few weeks ago, when he endorsed Vance. While the former president’s backing – and an ensuing Trump/Vance rally in Ohio a week and a half ago – helped Vance surge in the polls, the race remained competitive, with plenty of voters undecided as primary day neared.
Minutes after Vance’s victory was projected, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told Fox News that “JD Vance put in tremendous work and has immense political talent—which put him in the position to earn the support of President Trump.
“It was the endorsement of President Donald J. Trump that took a candidate who many insiders said was in 4th and at single digits in the polls, and in only two weeks, propelled him into a commanding first-place finish.,” Budowich said. “The power of President Trump’s endorsement is undeniable, his dominance over the Republican power brokers in D.C. cannot be overstated, and the promise of this MAGA Movement will not just define the Midterms, but it will win for years to come.”
Vance will face off in November’s general election against Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who has long represented a district in northeastern Ohio.
Ohio Governo Mike DeWine also won renomination over multiple challengers.