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Government & Politics

J.D. Vance wins Republican nomination in Ohio's U.S. Senate primary

J.D. Vance answers a question during Ohio’s U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate at Central State University.
Josh Bickel
Ohio Debate Commission
J.D. Vance answers a question during Ohio’s U.S. Senate Republican Primary Debate at Central State University.

J.D. Vance has won the Republican nomination in his bid for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat, according to the unofficial results.

Seven Republicans competed in what became a turbulent and expensive U.S. Senate primary. They're running to fill the seat left open by U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, who announced he would not seek re-election.

Vance came out on top over the other candidates which included Matt Dolan, state senator and part-owner of the Cleveland Guardians; Mike Gibbons, investment banker; Josh Mandel, former state treasurer; Neil Patel, businessman; Mark Pukita, businessman; and Jane Timken, former Ohio Republican Party chair.

Most of the candidates vigorously fought for the endorsement of former President Donald Trump who eventually threw his support behind Vance.

"In the Great State of Ohio, the candidate most qualified and ready to win in November is J.D. Vance. We cannot play games. It is all about winning!" Trump wrote in his endorsement.

Trump joined Vance during a rally in Delaware less than two weeks before election day.

But Vance was once considered a "Never Trumper" and had said during the 2016 presidential race that he "might have to hold his nose and vote for Hillary Clinton" instead of Trump. During the campaign, Vance walked those statements back and apologized for his previous criticisms.

"Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades," wrote Trump.

The Republican U.S. Senate primary was also the most expensive in Ohio history with the candidates spending more than $65 million on their campaigns.

The Club for Growth and other pro-Mandel super PACs spent nearly $14 million dollars. The pro-Vance super PAC Protect Ohio Values was on the air too, spending more than $9 million.

Mandel was spending $5.25 million while Vance was spending $1.65 million. Gibbons spent about $13 million, nearly all his campaign money and around three quarters of a million from a super PAC. Dolan was spending $8.5 million, with another $3 million in outside super PAC support. Jane Timken was spending $4.2 million, along with $1.5 million of outside money.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.