Even though most of the candidates in the race have run for former President Donald Trump, the primary is the first Senate contest of the year to test the power of his endorsement.
Although Trump did not endorse Ohio’s gubernatorial primary, he played an important role in the contest to replace retired Republican Senator Rob Portman.
“It’s okay to change your mind. In fact, you should change your mind when the facts change and I think that’s the truth about my view of President Trump,” Vance said Monday.
Trump’s endorsement of Vance created momentum for the author, helping him roughly double his support between a Fox poll in March and another in April.
But most of the other top GOP candidates vying for the Ohio Senate seat — including former state treasurer Josh Mandel, businessman Mike Gibbons and former party chairwoman state Jane Timken, all of whom sought Trump’s endorsement — hammered Vance for his past statements about the former president. , arguing that they raised questions about his authenticity as a curator.
Addressing past criticism of Vance during a tele-rally for him on the eve of the election, Trump said Vance had “said some negative things about me, but he made up for it in spades.”
“I think I can say that he is 1000% with us,” added the former president.
Mandel, in turn, got help in the final days of the campaign from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who urged Republicans in Ohio to pay less attention to endorsements and more to the consistency of the presidential record. a candidate as a curator.
Primaries for the Governor of Ohio
The governor, who forged deep ties in Republican circles over many years of public service in Ohio, won national acclaim early in the pandemic for his careful handling of rising cases of Covid-19. But as the pandemic restrictions became more polarizing, he became a frequent target of the right and of Trump, which seemed to make him vulnerable as he set out to win a second term as governor.
In Ohio’s 11th congressional district, there’s a rematch between Democratic Rep. Shontel Brown and Nina Turner. Brown has won support from Biden as well as some moderate outside groups, but Turner, a former Ohio state senator who was a key player in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, had hoped to galvanize progressives to lead it to victory. in the newly drawn neighborhood, which includes more of Cleveland.
In Indiana, GOP Sen. Todd Young and Democrat Thomas McDermott, who is the mayor of Hammond, are running unchallenged in their respective Senate primaries on Tuesday.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
Paul LeBlanc, Gabby Orr and Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.