Thiel donates $3.5M to pro-Vance super PAC after Trump’s endorsement
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel is donating $3.5 million to a super PAC backing Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance after he won former President Trump’s endorsement last week.
Thiel’s donation to Protect Ohio Values, first reported by Politico and confirmed to The Hill by a source familiar with the matter, comes amid a mad dash to make voters aware of Trump’s backing before the state’s rapidly approaching — and crowded — May 3 Senate primary.
Thiel is one of Vance’s biggest backers, previously giving $10 million to Protect Ohio Values.
The latest donation could be key in evening the financial playing field. Vance’s main opponent, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, is backed by the conservative group Club for Growth’s beefy war chest, which has helped maintain a fusillade of attack ads on Vance.
Vance’s campaign released a statewide ad on Monday touting the endorsement, while the supportive super PAC this week rolled out a seven-figure ad buy. Given the size of Thiel’s donation, more ads highlighting the Friday endorsement are likely.
Thiel has been an active donor throughout the midterm cycle, also giving $10 million to the Arizona Republican Senate campaign of Blake Masters, a former top staffer at his company.
Beyond benefiting from Thiel’s donations, Vance is looking to saturate awareness of Trump’s endorsement by appearing with him at a rally on Saturday and at a town hall with Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday. Vance will also hold a second event later on Wednesday that will be aired by Newsmax, the conservative cable outlet.