Kellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign

Kellyanne Conway is joining Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno's campaign, a move that comes as candidates in the Republican primary jockey to win former President Trump's coveted support.

In a statement released Thursday, the campaign announced that Conway would be joining the team as senior adviser.

"Bernie's not a politician. He is a conservative, a political outsider, and a successful businessman just like President Donald J. Trump", Conway wrote in a statement.

"He has lived the American Dream and wishes to protect it for future generations. Ohioans need a fighter like Bernie Moreno to speak up and stand up for them in Washington," she added.

The announcement comes just over one week after Moreno jumped into a crowded Republican primary to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated by GOP Sen. Rob Portman.

On Tuesday, businessman Mike Gibbons became the latest candidate to announce a bid for the Senate seat, joining former Ohio state GOP Chair Jane Timken, former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and Moreno.

Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate in the contest, but he has weighed his options in the race behind closed doors.

Last month, Trump held a secret meeting with the four candidates at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., which reportedly turned tense.

The meeting, which reportedly lasted 15 minutes, was described to Politico by one source as being like the "Hunger Games," and a surprise, awkward confrontation for the Senate hopefuls.

According to sources cited by Politico, the huddle covered everything from the candidates' support of Trump and opposition to his impeachment, previous endorsements and donations, and early polling in the race.

Conway, however, said that her involvement with Moreno does not mean that Trump will be supporting him, Politico reported.

"My conversations with President Trump are private. I would never dangle or promise President Trump's endorsement to any candidate. That is his alone to grant or withhold," she said, according to Politico.

Conway successfully ran former President Trump's first bid for the presidency in 2016, becoming the first woman to manage a victorious presidential campaign.

She then served as senior counselor to the president, and was a close adviser to Trump throughout his four years in office.

In August, Conway announced that she would be departing from her role in the Trump administration at the end of the month to focus on family matters.

"This is completely my choice and my voice," Conway said. "In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."