Ohio GOP leaders press Trump to not endorse JD Vance

J.D. Vance
J.D. Vance, a Republican running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, speaks to reporters following a debate with other Republicans at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Monday, March 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Ohio Republican leaders are calling on President Trump to not endorse J.D. Vance in the state’s Senate primary in a letter that surfaced on Thursday.

The letter, which was signed by more than 30 signatories from various county GOP chairs as well as state central steering committee members, cites Ohio Republicans’ support for Trump in 2016 and 2020 and Vance’s past anti-Trump comments.

“While we were working hard in Ohio to support you and Make America Great Again, JD Vance was actively working against your candidacy,” the Republicans wrote.

“He referred to your supporters as ‘racists’ and proudly voted for Evan McMullin in 2016. Importantly, JD Vance is not a registered Republican. To have someone who has not voted in a Republican primary carrying the mantel for the party is troubling.”

However, not all conservatives and Republicans are pushing for Trump to avoid endorsing Vance.

Marshall Pitchford, the chairman of Ohio Right to Life, tweeted on Friday that Trump “would be making a fantastic choice by endorsing” Vance.

“JD is 100 [percent] pro-life without exceptions. He will continue President Trump’s pro-life victories in the US Senate,” Pickford said.

Meanwhile, Putnam County GOP Chairman Tony Schroeder in a tweet on Friday denied signing the letter and asked Politico to correct its story.

Schroeder is not included as a signatory in the copy obtained by The Hill.

The letter comes after NBC News reported on Thursday that Trump was planning on endorsing Vance in the crowded GOP Senate primary. The network reported that the former president had recently started calling donors and advisers to get their thoughts on backing Vance.

Trump is set to hold a rally in Delaware, Ohio, on April 23.

The former president has held off on making an official endorsement in the race, which has turned the primary into a race for the former president’s backing.

A survey released on Friday from the right-leaning firm the Trafalgar Group shows Vance with 22 percent support, behind former state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Tags Donald Trump JD Vance Ohio

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