Trump backs former campaign adviser for Ohio Republican Party chair

Trump backs former campaign adviser for Ohio Republican Party chair
© Greg Nash

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE threw his support behind former campaign adviser Bob Paduchik in the race to be the next chair of the Ohio Republican Party.

Paduchik, a GOP operative, was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2020 reelection bid and was the Ohio state director for his 2016 campaign.

“Bob Paduchik is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Ohio. He successfully led my campaign in both 2016 and 2020, having even more success the second time around," Trump said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. "He is outstanding in every way, and I give him my full and complete endorsement. Bob loves our country and the Great State of Ohio. He will be an outstanding Chairman!” 

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The endorsement in a race to chair a state party underscores the extent to which Trump plans on leaving his imprint on the party even out of office and ahead of the 2022 midterms. 

The GOP is grappling with what role the former president should have in the future of the party, particularly after the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

While Trump remains wildly popular with the party’s grassroots, some lawmakers have begun distancing themselves from him over his claims the November election was “stolen” from him, comments that critics say fueled last month’s violent insurrection. 

Trump has already rewarded one other loyalist, endorsing former White House press secretary and close ally Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersTrump expected to resume rallies in June Andrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor Trump appears at Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaign event MORE Sanders in her gubernatorial bid in Arkansas. However, he’s also warned sitting Republican lawmakers that he could back primary challengers if he deems them to be insufficiently loyal.

"Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership," he said in a statement earlier this month.

Trump has also not ruled out a 2024 White House campaign. And given his popularity with the GOP base, even some of his vocal detractors concede he’d be a favorite to win the Republican nomination.

Paduchik is running to chair the Ohio GOP after former Chairperson Jane Timken vacated the job to run for the Senate seat Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Senators introduce bipartisan bill to secure critical groups against hackers Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (R) is vacating. An endorsement from Trump can go a long way in the Buckeye State, which the former president won by 8 points in both 2016 and 2020.