Timken invokes Lia Thomas in new Ohio Senate ad
Ohio Republican Senate candidate Jane Timken invoked Lia Thomas in a new campaign ad criticizing rules allowing transgender women being allowed to compete in women’s sports.
In the 30-second spot released on Monday, Timken blames rules set by the NCAA that allow transgender women to compete in women’s college sports on President Biden and Democrats.
“As a mom and former college athlete, I know how important women’s sports are,” Timken says in the clip. “They teach our girls to be winners.”
“But the Biden Democrats want to force our daughters to compete against men in the pool and on the court,” she continues, as footage of Thomas is shown.
The Hill was the first news outlet to view the ad, which is a part of a seven-figure ad buy for Timken in the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton areas. The ad will also be aired on Fox News in Youngstown.
Timken’s critics have pointed out that prior to her political career, she appeared to support some pro-transgender policies. According to the Buckeye Flame, an Ohio-based LGBTQ publication, when Timken served as the chair of the Kent State University Board of Trustees, she voted to revise the university’s discrimination statute to protect transgender individuals.
The ad comes as the debate over transgender women competing in women’s sports intensified after Thomas, who competes for the University of Pennsylvania, became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 national championship in any sport earlier this month.
Conservatives and Republicans have slammed Thomas’s win, making it the latest battle in the culture wars. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced last week that he would not recognize Thomas’s win and instead would recognize second-place finisher Emma Weyant, who is originally from Florida, as the champion.
NCAA policy permits transgender female athletes to compete on a collegiate women’s sports team after completing a full calendar year of testosterone-suppression treatment. Thomas, who was on the university’s men’s team for three years, has been receiving gender-affirming hormones for more than 2 1/2 years.
Despite achieving a season-best in the 500-yard freestyle, Thomas did not come close to the NCAA record set by Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in 2017 while she was competing for Stanford University.