Portman backs Timken

The U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Jane Timken received a boost with the endorsement of Rob Portman, who is retiring from the seat at the end of the year.

Portman said Timken, a former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman, “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. I believe Ohioans would be proud to have her representing us in the United States Senate. She has a record of success, including working tirelessly for years to support Republicans at every level.”

Portman, R-Terrace Park, announced in January 2021 that he would not seek a third six-year Senate term this year.

That resulted in numerous candidates, particularly on the Republican side, campaigning to succeed him.

Other Republican Senate candidates include former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, businessman Mike Gibbons, state Sen. Matt Dolan and J.D. Vance, an author and venture capitalist.

Timken said Wednesday that “Portman is a thoughtful, conservative leader who has served Ohio with distinction and I’m honored to have his support. Rob successfully led the effort to pass President (Donald) Trump’s tax cuts, is the leader in the U.S. Senate in fighting the opioid epidemic and has constantly delivered results for Ohio on issue after issue.”

Timken’s campaign has done seven polls and all show that Portman is the “most popular statewide official” in Ohio, according to Mandi Merritt, campaign spokeswoman.

Also, donors have committed about $800,000 to Timken’s campaign “if and when Portman” gave his endorsement, Merritt said.

Portman’s wife, Jane, has supported Timken’s campaign.

An endorsement from Trump, which could possibly change the direction of the Republican primary, is still out there.

“Obviously, Jane would welcome that” endorsement, Merritt said.

In a prepared statement touting Portman’s endorsement, the Timken campaign pointed to the senator being “instrumental in getting a number of President Trump’s major legislative accomplishments through the Senate.”

All of the candidates have aligned themselves with Trump, who won Ohio in 2016 and 2020, though Dolan has also criticized the former president in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The primary is scheduled for May 3.

Michael Beyer, an Ohio Democratic Party spokesman, said: “Timken has given up on even pretending to be anything but a desperate political phony — claiming the Trump mantle one day and accepting support from some of the most Trump-skeptical members of the GOP the next.”


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