Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators eye Plan B amid Russia sanctions stalemate Putin’s Ukraine gambit unites Western democracies he sought to divide Josh Mandel tests Ohio’s appetite for red meat rhetoric MORE (R-Ohio) will back former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken as his chosen successor in an attempt to boost her through a crowded GOP field later this year.
In a statement released Wednesday, Portman said Timken would be the candidate best positioned to keep his seat in Republican hands in the midterm elections.
“I believe Jane Timken is the best candidate to advance conservative Republican policies to help Ohio workers and families. Jane is smart and hard working, and understands the needs of Ohioans,” Portman said. “I am confident in her ability to win both the primary and the general elections, ensuring that this Seante seat remains Republican with a 50-50 Senate, and so much at stake.”
Portman’s move will elevate Timken as she vies with better-known and better-funded contenders, some of whom have already spent millions on their own campaigns.
Recent polls have shown Timken trailing those other candidates. A survey conducted earlier this month by the Trafalgar Group, a Republican polling firm, found former state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) leading the field with 21 percent of the vote. Businessman Mike Gibbons (R) took 16 percent, and author and venture capitalist JD Vance took 14 percent.
The poll showed state Sen. Matt Dolan (R) and Timken tied at about 10 percent apiece. A quarter of Republican voters surveyed had not yet made up their minds.
Gibbons and Dolan have contributed more than $10 million apiece to their respective campaigns. Vance is benefitting from the support of Peter Thiel, the libertarian venture capitalist who has put $10 million into a super PAC supporting his race from him. The powerful Club for Growth backs Mandel, who ran for and lost a US Senate seat in 2012.
Timken has loaned his own campaign $3.5 million, and raised another $3.4 million on top of that.
Portman and Timken have both personal and political ties. Portman’s wife Jane had already endorsed Timken’s campaign, and Portman’s former top strategist, Corry Bliss, is Timken’s chief political adviser.
Several other prominent Republicans have waded into the race to influence Ohio Republicans’ decisions. sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate Republicans urge DOJ to reject request for ‘no fly’ list for unruly passengers Senate passes bill to make former internment camp national historic site Investigators find gaps in White House phone records from Jan. 6: report MORE (R-Utah) and Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisSenate Republicans urge DOJ to reject request for ‘no fly’ list for unruly passengers Toomey presses Fed bank on whether Raskin lobbied for special access GOP senator: .5 million private sector payout to Biden nominee ‘doesn’t smell right’ MORE (R-Wyo.) back Mandel and Gibbons has support from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMust-watch moments between Fauci and Sen. Paul Website that raised millions for ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests goes offline after possible hack Five big questions after Canadian truckers cleared from US border bridge MORE (R-Ky.), with whom he shares political advisers; Vance has support from Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHawley defends Jan. 6 merch: ‘It is not a pro-riot mug’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Signs of de-escalation in Ukraine The Memo: Horizon darkens for Biden on Ukraine MORE (R-Mo.).
The winner of the May 3 primary will likely face Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanKellyanne Conway endorses Timken in Ohio Senate race Josh Mandel tests Ohio’s appetite for red meat rhetoric Midterm primaries might be critical to balance of the Senate MORE (D) in November.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism