Hawley endorses Vance in Ohio Senate race

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) arrives to the Capitol for a vote on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) endorsed Ohio Republican J.D. Vance in the Buckeye State’s GOP Senate primary Tuesday, lending his conservative bona fides to the venture capitalist and best-selling author’s bid to replace outgoing Sen. Rob Portman (R).

Hawley, a firebrand who entered the Senate in 2019 and was a vocal supporter of objections to the 2020 election results, touted Vance as an advocate of several red-meat issues to conservatives, including tightening immigration restrictions and clamping down on tech companies.

“I’m proud to endorse JD Vance for U.S. Senate from Ohio. JD knows well the devastating realities that our country faces. Especially in Ohio, families gripped by addiction have the cards stacked against them and entire towns continue to plummet,” he said in a statement of the “Hillbilly Elegy” author. 

“JD will fight for tighter restrictions at the southern border, bring back a robust manufacturing industry and put the needs of our own American citizens first. JD is the only candidate out in front of the corruption in our technology industry. He will crack down on Big Tech bowing down to China, stand up for the American worker, and put our country back on the track of prosperity and opportunity.”

The endorsement is the first by Hawley in an open Senate race in the 2022 cycle.

The Missouri Republican is considered by many to be a potential 2024 presidential contender if former President Trump doesn’t run, and getting involved in key midterm races could be a way to bolster his own standing with the GOP grassroots during a cycle in which he’s not up for reelection. 

Vance, who burst on to the scene when his 2016 memoir became a best-seller, has recently garnered a slate of endorsements from prominent conservatives, including former Trump administration Cabinet officials and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

“I’m honored to receive Josh’s endorsement. No one else in the U.S. Senate has fought as tirelessly against the Big Tech monopolists who censor conservatives and control the flow of information in our country. Josh points the way toward a conservatism that stands for the interests and values of American workers and families. I’m honored to have his support and thrilled to work with him in the Senate,” said Vance.

Vance is among several candidates vying for the GOP nomination in the Senate race, including former Ohio Treasurer and two-time Senate candidate Josh Mandel, former Ohio GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken and Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno. 

Recent polls have shown Mandel with a lead but Vance closing the gap.

Rep. Tim Ryan and former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau senior adviser Morgan Harper are running in the Democratic primary.

Tags Bernie Moreno Donald Trump Jane Timken Josh Hawley josh mandel Morgan Harper Rob Portman Tim Ryan United States Senate election in Ohio

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