Cruz endorses Josh Mandel in Ohio Senate race

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed former state Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio’s GOP Senate primary on Monday, weighing in on the competitive race roughly one month before voters head to the polls.

“I’m proud to endorse @JoshMandelOhio for U.S. Senate in Ohio,” Cruz wrote on Twitter. “Josh is a proven fighter for our American way of life, a champion for the unborn, and a stalwart advocate for our religious liberties.”

Mandel is one of the top contenders in Ohio’s GOP senate primary. Investment banker Mike Gibbons, “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken and state Sen. Matt Dolan are also vying for the Republican nomination.

Endorsements in the race have been scattered, with GOP heavyweights throwing their support behind different candidates. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who is departing the seat that several are now running for, said he will back Timken, along with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).

Mandel has received support from Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Vance has the backing of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

One notable Republican who has not yet weighed in on the race is former President Trump. The candidates, however, have put their allegiances and connections to Trump on full display.

The race remained tight as of early March, leaving the coveted nomination up for grabs before the May 3 primary. A Fox News poll conducted early last month found Gibbons leading the pack with 22 percent support among GOP primary voters, followed close behind by Mandel with 20 percent. Vance came in third with 11 percent, followed by Timken at 9 percent and Dolan at 7 percent.

Twenty-four percent of primary voters, however, said they remained undecided.

Mandel told The Associated Press in an interview that if he wins the Senate race, he will look to serve as “reinforcements for conservative fighters like Ted Cruz.”

“As we’ve seen in his 10 years in the Senate, he takes on squishy establishment Republicans just as fast as he takes on leftist Democrats,” Mandel said.

“Because for Ted, and for me, this is not about (a) Republican vs. Democrat, shirts vs. skins type game. This is about standing up for the Constitution, for traditional American values, and saving the country for our kids and grandkids,” he added.

Cruz has made a number of endorsements as the GOP looks to November’s midterm elections with the goal of flipping the House and Senate red. In February, the Texas Republican threw his support behind Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the Show Me State’s GOP Senate primary, and in January, he endorsed businessman David McCormick as he runs to represent Pennsylvania in the Senate.

Updated at 4 p.m.

Tags Jane Timken JD Vance Joni Ernst Josh Hawley josh mandel Madison Cawthorn Matt Dolan Mike Lee Rob Portman Ted Cruz
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