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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Election 2022: JD Vance wins Ohio’s GOP Senate primary

COLUMBUS, Ohio ( Associated Press) — “Hillbilly Allegiant” author J.D. Vance won Ohio’s controversial and ultra-competitive GOP Senate primary on Tuesday, fueled by his endorsement of Donald Trump in a race that has buoyed the former president over his party. It was a preliminary test of his grip. The midterm season kicks into high gear.

A lifelong staunch critic of Trump, whose 2016 memoir about his Appalachian childhood raised him to fame, Vance spent most of the campaign behind the polls. But a late-stage endorsement of Trump has pushed him to the forefront, and two men undermined Vance’s previous scathing criticism of the former president, which Vance said was wrong.

Accepting the GOP nomination, Vance struck a unified tone while praising his rivals — including the silent boon to his bitterest rival, former state treasurer Josh Mandel — and the state in November after an extraordinarily bitter campaign. Pledged to appeal to many moderates of the At one point, the two candidates were seen getting closer on a debate stage.

“Now this campaign, I really think, was a referendum on what kind of Republican party we want, and what kind of country we want,” Vance told the crowd.

He now faces Democrat Tim Ryan in the race to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Republican Senator Rob Portman. The 10-term Democratic congressman, who easily won his three-way primary on Tuesday night, will likely have an uphill climb in a state won twice by Trump by an 8-point margin. In a possible warning sign for Ryan, nearly twice as many Republicans ran in the primary than Democrats.

Meanwhile, Republican Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio won his party’s nomination for a second term and will face Democrat Nan Whaley.

In neighboring Indiana, the incumbent Republicans in the State House faced primary challengers who wanted to push the Legislature further to the right. Of the nearly two dozen so-called independence candidates in the Republican legislative race, one defeated a 10-term incumbent in northern Indiana, while one leader of the movement lost his primary race.

Tuesday’s competitions marked the start of a more competitive phase of the midterm primary season, with closely watched races in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia later this month. The election will conclude in November, when control of Congress, governors’ mansions and key election offices will be at stake.

The campaign is accelerating at a volatile moment in the country’s politics. On the eve of this week’s primaries, a draft of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion was leaked, which suggests that the court was in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. While Democrats rejected the draft, they suddenly have a clear, unified message that they hope will offset an otherwise difficult political climate marred by economic crises that include high inflation and gas prices.

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Meanwhile, Trump is using the primaries to build his reputation as a GOP kingmaker as he runs for another presidency after two impeachment and January 6, 2021, a year after stepping down under the cloud of Capitol rebellion Huh. A Trump spokesman took credit for the result in the Ohio Senate contest on Tuesday, saying the former president’s endorsement “motivated[Vance]to take first place.”

While Vance is the undisputed winner of the GOP primary, growing support in rural areas of Ohio, there was notable support for Mandel and State Sen. Matt Dolan, the only major candidates who have not aggressively courted Trump. Their traction shows that appetite remains in the party for non-Trump alternatives, especially in a state that includes Devine, Portman, and former Ohio governor-turned-Trump critic John Kasich.

Dolan made a strong showing in Ohio’s metropolitan communities, particularly around Cleveland and Columbus. Meanwhile, Mandel also found some rural support.

At the Strongsville library in suburban Cleveland, 71-year-old Joan Mondak said she voted for Dolan because the rest of the candidates are “nutcakes” who are “too much Trump.”

Ohio, once a Belvedere state, is now decidedly Republican, posing a challenge to Ryan, who has distanced himself from the progressive wing of his party during the race. Campaigning in a sweatshirt and baseball cap, he has sculpted himself as a blue-collar crusader fighting for working families.

During his acceptance speech, Ryan became emotional while talking about the community his steelworker grandfather was able to create while working a well-paying union job.

“I am absolutely certain in my bones that we can do this if we come together, and it is not about finding our differences. It is not about hatred,” he said.

Buoyed by historical trends and the deeply unpopularity of Democratic President Joe Biden, Republicans are optimistic about taking the House and Senate back in November. The party of a new president almost always loses seats in subsequent midterm elections and Republicans hope rising inflation, high energy prices and lingering despair over the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will further boost their prospects.

Democrats, meanwhile, are banking the GOP – with Trump’s help – to elect candidates so extreme they will be disqualified in November. Vance, in particular, came under fire for dismissing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as any business of the United States and for deliberately trying to kill Trump voters by allowing illegal drugs to cross the southern border. Is.

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“By all rights, history tells us that the Democrats are going to lose control of the House,” said Dale Butland, a Democratic strategist in Ohio. “By all rights, we must also lose control of the Senate. However, the only thing that can save us is if Republicans nominate a group of far-right madmen who are unacceptable in a general election.”

While Devin is widely known in Ohio after a 40-year political career, he faced fierce backlash from conservatives over the COVID-19 shutdowns and mandates imposed during the early months of the pandemic.

Devin’s three opponents – former US Representative Jim Renacchi, former state Representative Ron Hood and farmer Joe Baileystone – all harnessed that anger, but they appear to have divided the vote on the far-right. Still, DeWine took no chances and spent millions advertising during the final weeks of the race.

On the Democratic side, Whale became the first woman in state history to receive the support of a major party. She defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley in a race that attracted relatively little attention as much of the state focused on the controversial Senate Republican primary and the ongoing redistribution legal battle. Whaley was supported by the state’s top Democrat, US Sen. Sherrod Brown, a popular household name, while Cranley was supported by feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

The two candidates looked head-to-head on most of the major issues — guns, abortion rights, social justice — but Whaley pointed out repeatedly that Cranley had recently said he was pro.

Trump-backed Secretary of State Frank Larose also won his party’s nomination for another term.

In the House, Republican Max Miller, a former Trump campaign and White House aide, won the GOP nomination in the sprawling new 7th District in northeast Ohio, despite allegations from his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, that she grew up violent with him as their relationship deteriorated. He has denied the allegations.

Miller was initially recruited to challenge Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment. But Gonzalez decided to retire instead.


Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Patrick Orsagas in Columbus, Steve Peoples in New York and Mark Gillispie in Strongsville, Ohio contributed to this report.


For full midterm coverage, follow the Associated Press at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter. https://twitter.com/ap_politics

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