Timken, Mandel campaign for Senate seat

GOP stumps in Valley

Staff photo / Mary Ann Greier U.S. Senate candidate Jane Timken talks with Buckeye Industrial Mining retired President John Grisham during the kickoff for her “Mom on a Mission” tour at the Salem Golf Club on Thursday. The former Ohio Republican Party chairman plans to hold 35 events in the final 12 days before the primary.

While Josh Mandel and Jane Timken failed to get Donald Trump’s endorsement, the two Republican candidates for U.S. Senate used the former president’s name numerous times during separate campaign visits to the Mahoning Valley.

Mandel, a former state treasurer campaigned Thursday at the Top Notch Diner in Cortland with Michael Flynn, who served briefly as Trump’s national security adviser, while Timken was at the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters in Boardman with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who has endorsed her as his successor.

Trump endorsed J.D. Vance, an author and venture capitalist, last week in the Republican Party primary over Mandel and Timken, two loyalists to the former president. Vance was critical of Trump in the past, particularly during the 2016 presidential campaign, but has since praised Trump.

Asked several times about Trump’s endorsement of Vance, Mandel said: “I’m confident we’re going to win the primary on May 3 and have the president support me to beat Tim Ryan (the Democratic front-runner) in November. I’m more confident and motivated than ever to advance the America First agenda.”

During his speech, Mandel mentioned “never Trumpers” in the Republican Party while avoiding mentioning any of his opponents by name. Then someone in the crowd yelled Vance’s name and Mandel repeated it.

Timken said of the endorsement and Vance’s past criticism of Trump: “None of that changes the fact that Donald Trump endorsed me to become chair of the (Ohio) Republican Party or changes the fact that I delivered Ohio for President Trump (in 2020). J.D. was a vowed never Trumper. If he had his way, (Democrat) Hillary Clinton would have been president, but Ohio voters are smart and they’ll see right through it.”

Portman added that Trump’s vote last week came late after early voting had started for the May 3 primary.

“If he had done it earlier it would have made a bigger difference,” he said. “If he had endorsed Jane early, I believe she would be the front-runner by far.”

At Mandel’s event, both he and Flynn claimed Trump actually won the 2020 election.

“Elections have consequences, but fake elections or stolen elections have very, very dangerous consequences and that’s what we’re facing now,” Flynn said.

There is no evidence the election was “stolen.”

Trump won Ohio by 8 percent, but lost the national election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mandel said he wants an audit of states Trump lost in 2020 in addition to Ohio.

“The squishy RINO (Republican in Name Only) Republicans would say, ‘Why would you want to do it in Ohio? Trump won here,'” Mandel said. “My feeling is he won here higher than reported.”

In a statement, state Sen. Matt Dolan, who also is running in the Republican primary for this seat, said: “There are a multitude of challenges and liberal policy failures keeping Ohioans up at night, but the 2020 election isn’t one of them. Josh Mandel is all about perpetuating falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the past.”

Dolan will campaign Saturday at Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters.

Mandel and Timken have both been critical of the other Republicans in the Senate primary race.

For the other candidates, Mandel said, “It’s just talk. For me, I’ve done it. I’ve got a proven record.”

Timken said: “Voters know who’s the big talker and the showhorse and who’s been there delivering for them.”

But they both said Thursday that if they won the Republican primary, they would welcome the support of the other candidates seeking the party’s nomination.

“I’m the candidate of addition,” Timken said.

Mandel said: “Everyone running against me is much better than Tim Ryan. When I win this primary on May 3, I’d be honored to have them fighting alongside me beating Tim Ryan in November.”

In a Tuesday email to supporters, Ryan’s campaign wrote: “Mandel isn’t just dangerous because of his outlandish comments or far-right backers. He’s also the front-runner in the Republican primary and the only candidate polling ahead of Tim Ryan. Yikes.”

Timken said she values Portman’s endorsement even though she doesn’t support some of his positions, such as on the bipartisan infrastructure law that Portman led through lengthy bipartisan negotiations.

“I don’t always agree on everything, but (Portman) knows me as someone who is the best to beat Tim Ryan and keep the seat,” she said. “He knows me as a true leader. I’m not going to agree with everyone on the Senate.”

Dolan said: “If Jane Timken was truly committed to fighting for the Valley’s interests, she would not have demeaned and spread misinformation about the targeted infrastructure bill negotiated by Sen. Portman.”

Earlier on Thursday, Timken kicked off her “Mom on a Mission” tour at the Salem Golf Club in Salem, talking with local Republican Party leaders and supporters and public officials — the first of 35 stops over the next 12 days leading up to the primary May 3.

Timken said her focus in these final two weeks will include parental rights in education, border security, inflation, jobs, all those kitchen-table issues affecting families in Ohio.

She said she loves Columbiana County, adding the people are great and so is the Republican Party Chairman Dave Johnson. The Columbiana County Republican Party chose to endorse Timken with an overwhelming majority.

“I know Jane. I know her character, the personal integrity she possesses. I think she would bring honor to this position,” Johnson said.

Salem News reporter Mary Ann Greier contributed to this report.


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