Ohio's GOP governor congratulates Biden on win

Ohio's GOP governor congratulates Biden on win
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Ohio governor signs bill allowing small businesses to stay open during health emergencies Biden considering Cordray for top Fed bank regulator role: report MORE (R) on Monday congratulated President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE on his election victory as President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE pursues legal challenges instead of conceding the presidential race.

“I congratulate Vice President Biden," DeWine said in a statement, while also acknowledging Trump's court battles.

Trump's lawyers "have every right to present evidence in court on any legal issues or irregularities involving the election," the GOP governor said, adding that when "lawsuits have concluded and election results are certified, it is important for all Americans to honor the outcome."

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Monday's statement marked the first time DeWine, an honorary co-chair of Trump's campaign in the Buckeye State, weighed in on the results of the 2020 presidential contest.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott are the only other GOP governors to congratulate Biden on his overall victory.

DeWine's remarks contrast with those of the Ohio Republican Party, which encouraged Trump to push forward with his legal challenges in key battleground states where he has alleged without evidence that election fraud tipped the balance in Biden's favor.

“With many legal challenges to vote counts still to come, it was premature and irresponsible for the news media to declare Biden the winner of the presidential election,” the Ohio GOP tweeted on Monday. "The president has every right to bring legal challenges where he thinks fraud has occurred, & we support him!”

The Associated Press projected on election night that Trump would win Ohio. The president has garnered roughly 53.4 percent of the vote in the state, compared with 45.2 percent for Biden.