This year, Ohio Republican Rob Portman announced that he is retiring from the United States Senate. Democrats are eager to turn the seat with Congressman Tim Ryan the likely candidate.
The Republican nomination will likely come down to two far-right candidates; JD Vance and Seth Mandel. Both have done everything they can to attract Donald Trump. And both have powerful backers. Trump has now defied one of those backers, Jim Jordan, by choosing to back Vance.
According to a report from NBC News, “‘The Mandel people hit the roof,’ one Republican with knowledge of the discussions told NBC News, noting that Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan tried to dissuade Trump on behalf of Mandel, whom the congressman supports.”
Vance is backed by Peter Theil, a Silicon Valley tycoon who has become one of the GOP’s biggest donors. Vance burst onto the scene by penning the book Hillbilly Elegy. He has also been no fan of Trump in the past. “I’m a never-Trump guy,” Vance said in 2016. “I never like him.”
The author has also been criticized for his take on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ohio has a significant Ukrainian immigrant population.
While the endorsement is likely, it isn’t final. The report continues, “Nothing is final until it’s final. Trump can always change his mind. But he already kicked the tires on everyone and he’s ready to go with Vance. It’s either Vance or nobody. And it’s only nobody if somehow the other campaigns can get him to hold off.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.