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CINCINNATI — JD Vance, the venture capitalist and best-selling author who won former President Donald Trump’s endorsement less than three weeks ago in the crowded, explosive and costly Republican Senate primary of Ohio, won his party’s nomination.
The Associated Press projected Vance’s victory just over two hours after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. ET. Ohio and neighboring Midwestern state Indiana held both primary elections on Tuesday, kicking off a frenetic schedule this month, with a total of 13 states holding primaries.
Vance’s victory is also seen as a victory for the former president, as Trump’s position as the Republican Party’s most popular and influential politician was on the line even though the former president was not on the ballot. ballot.
In his victory speech at his nightly main headquarters in Cincinnati, Vance gave Trump a big nod, saying “I absolutely have to thank the 45th President of the United States.”
Vance will face longtime Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in November. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine won the nomination over several leading right-wing challengers.
But the GOP primary in the showdown to succeed retired Republican Senator Rob Portman was the contest that captured national attention.
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The race for more than a year has been a battle between the main contenders for the approval of Trump, who, 15 months away from the White House, remains a main GOP kingmaker as he flirts with several times with another presidential race.
As the leading candidates tried to outdo each other to show their support and loyalty to Trump, the battle for the nomination became increasingly adversarial. Things got so heated that two leading candidates – 2018 Republican Senate candidate from Ohio Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland entrepreneur, real estate developer and investment banker, and the former Ohio treasurer and former nominee in the Senate twice Josh Mandel – almost came to blows during a debate.
Trump remained neutral until a few weeks ago when he endorsed Vance. While the former president’s support — and a subsequent Trump/Vance rally in Ohio a week and a half ago — helped Vance rise in the polls, the race has remained competitive, with many undecided voters as primary day approaches.
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Also among the top contenders for the Republican nomination were State Senator Matt Dolan, a former county attorney and assistant state attorney general and one of the co-owners of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians, and the former Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken.
Minutes after Vance’s victory was projected, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told Fox News that “JD Vance has done a terrific job and has immense political talent, which has put him in a position to win the support of President Trump.
“It was President Donald J. Trump’s endorsement that took a candidate who many insiders said was #4 and in single digits in the polls, and in just two weeks propelled him to #1. place,” Budowich said. . “The power of President Trump’s endorsement is undeniable, his dominance over Republican power brokers in DC cannot be overstated, and the promise of this MAGA movement will not only define the Midterms, but it will win for years to come. .”
In November’s general election, Vance will face Ryan, who has long represented a northeast Ohio district, in what will be a battle between two populist politicians. Ryan promoted popular policies to working-class voters during his years in Congress and during an unsuccessful bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
DeWine, a two-term former senator who went on to serve eight years as state attorney general before winning the governorship in 2018, faced multiple main challenges from the right as he sought a second term at the helm of Ohio.
DeWine is quite popular in the state, but angered many right-wingers over the restrictions he put in place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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While Trump has criticized DeWine in the past, he hasn’t endorsed former Rep. Jim Renacci, a Trump ally, or Joe Blystone, the two candidates challenging the governor.
The Democratic gubernatorial primary was a battle of former mayors – John Cranley of Cincinnati and Nan Whaley of Dayton, a battle won by Whaley.
There have also been a handful of consecutive congressional primaries, with most action on the Republican side.
But the Democratic primary in Ohio’s 11th congressional district captured national attention, thanks to a rare, last-minute endorsement from President Biden.
The president backed now-Rep. Shontel Brown, who last August beat former state senator Nina Turner by five points in a special Democratic primary election to fill the vacant deep blue seat.
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This year’s primary was a revenge — and was once again a test of the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party. And Brown was victorious again, with the AP predicting that she won fame.
There will be no primary ballot, because in Ohio, the candidate who obtains the greatest number of votes wins the contest even if he does not obtain an absolute majority of the votes cast.