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Donald Trump endorses JD Vance in messy Ohio Senate primary

Donald Trump endorsed author and venture capitalist JD Vance in Ohio’s chaotic GOP Senate primary on Friday, ending months of speculation about which candidate would finally win the former president’s backing.

“It is time for the entire MAGA movement, the greatest in the history of our country, to unite behind JD’s campaign because, unlike so many other pretenders and wannabes, he will put America first,” Trump said in a statement. “In other words, JD Vance has my complete and utter endorsement. He won’t let you down. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

The “Hillbilly Elegy” memoirist and rivals Josh Mandel and Jane Timken were each vying for Trump to back the May 3 primary. The endorsement is expected to give a major boost to Vance, whose candidacy has struggled to gain traction with less than a month to go until Election Day. Recent polls show him roughly tied with Mandel and Mike Gibbons.

Vance, a friend of Donald Trump Jr., had to backtrack on early criticism of Trump to be viable for the MAGA base. He called Trump “harmful” and “idiot” and admitted not having voted for him in 2016. However, since entering the race to replace GOP Senator Rob Portman, Vance has said the former President “proved me wrong”.

Trump’s decision is a blow, especially for Timken, his hand-picked choice to lead the Ohio Republican Party, and for Mandel, the former state treasurer who aggressively embraced the political posturing. of Trump.

Ohio’s endorsement comes days after Trump also weighed in on the Pennsylvania Senate race, endorsing famed surgeon Mehmet Oz, better known as “Dr. Oz” from his daytime TV show.

Despite his frequent hits on Fox News, Vance is not particularly well known in popular political circles in Ohio. His main claim to statewide fame is his memoir of growing up surrounded by addiction and poverty in Middletown, Ohio.

The winner of the GOP primary is almost guaranteed to face Democratic Representative Tim Ryan in the general election.

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