Trump takes victory lap after supporter wins Ohio GOP chair
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE took a victory lap Saturday after a supporter replaced an ally of Gov. John Kasich as chair of the Ohio Republican Party.

Trump congratulated Stark County attorney Jane Timken for her election as the new chair of the state GOP. Timken was elected Friday by the state party's central committee after two deadlocked votes.

Timken beat the incumbent chair Matt Borges, who withdrew in exchange for being named chairman emeritus of the party, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Trump called the election a "major upset victory," describing Timken as "a loyal Trump supporter & star."


Trump had lobbied on behalf of Timken ahead of the vote, calling several central committee members personally on Thursday and sharing copies of a letter he sent to Timken indicating his desire to see her become chair, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Timken's victory is the latest display of the Trump's clout within the state party. Her victory is also a defeat for Kasich, a former rival of Trump's during the GOP presidential primary who backed Borges.

"Congratulations to Jane on becoming chair of the Ohio Republican Party. Jane is following in the footsteps of one our Party's most successful chairman in history and will need the help of all Republicans in Ohio to continue Matt's work," Kasich said in a statement Friday.

"Republicans across Ohio owe Matt Borges a debt of gratitude. Matt has led our Party to unprecedented victories up and down the ballot. He has always maintained his class and put others before himself. He has been a model chairman."

In early October, Borges told party members that they wouldn't face repercussions if they rescinded their support for Trump in the wake of the controversial "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump talking about grabbing women. 

Trump's campaign fired back, taking the extraordinary step weeks before the election in must-win Ohio of publicly denouncing Borges, saying his "loyalty to Governor John Kasich's failed Presidential campaign eclipse his responsibility as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party."