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Trump endorses J.D. Vance in tight, crowded GOP Ohio primary for Senate seat

"The bottom line is, we must have a Republican victory in Ohio," Trump concluded.

April 15, 2022 6:52pm

Updated: April 15, 2022 8:33pm

Former President Trump on Friday endorsed Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance in the crowded Ohio primary.

"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 said in a press release, adding that Vance had his "complete and total endorsement."

"The bottom line is, we must have a Republican victory in Ohio," Trump also said, about the race to fill the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman.

Trump addressed the "Hillbilly Elegy" author's past statements deriding him, saying "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."

The former president asserted that the endorsement was not an easy one for him to make, given he "like[s] and respect some of the other candidates in the race."

Vance, a Yale law school graduate turned venture capitalist, won the endorsement over other primary candidates including former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Ohio GOP chairwoman Jane Timken.

Mandel holds a 1.7 percent lead over the field, according to RealClearPolitics poll average, making the race as of now a statistical tie. 

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