Ohio GOP Senate Candidates Vying for Trump Endorsement Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is retiring. (Mariam Zuhaib/AP)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 09 April 2022 12:47 PM
The seven Republican U.S. Senate candidates looking to get the party’s nomination in the May 3 primary are all seeking the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race to fill the seat of Sen. Rob Portman, who is retiring and not seeking another term.
Portman stepping away has caused a shootout of sorts in the race with seven GOP candidates, three Democrats, and five independent or third-party candidates, running to fill the seat, according to Ballotpedia.
According to CNN, all leading candidates in the race are polling under 30%, and a huge group of primary voters’ undecided.
A Trump endorsement could push one of the Republican candidates over the primary finish line, according to the report.
"There are people up on the stage who are literally fighting for one vote, and that person doesn't even vote in Ohio," state Sen. Matt Dolan, who is running for the nomination said at a recent debate, according to the news outlet.
Dolan is the only GOP candidate not to support Trump’s claims about voter fraud the 2020 election.
"Let me be very clear, Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States," Dolan said at the debate in Wilberforce. "My problem is he's a failed president."
Another GOP candidate, J.D. Vance, recently stood up for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has been labeled as "far right" by the left, media, and some Republicans, after she gave a speech at a "white nationalist gathering," according to CNN.
"She said nothing wrong, and I'm absolutely not going to throw her under the bus, or anybody else who's a friend of mine," Vance told CNN.
Mike Gibbons, who is financing his own race, has likened himself to Trump as a businessman and political outsider, and was recently called out by another candidate in the race, former state treasurer Josh Mandel for his stock holdings in a Chinese company.
Meanwhile, Portman has endorsed Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken, who claims Trump personally picked her to lead the party, and has hired two top Trump aids, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie for her campaign, CNN reported.
On the Democratic side, former Rep. Tim Ryan is the expected winner of that primary for the nomination.
Ryan challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for the gavel in 2016, and briefly ran for president in 2020, the CNN story said.