**BREAKING: J.D. VANCE WINS OHIO’S GOP SENATE PRIMARY. He will face Tim Ryan in November.
At 9:39 PM ET, with 68% reporting, Vance leads with 31.3% (218,053) of the votes. Josh Mandel is in second with 24.3% (169,416) of the vote.
Vance received a huge boost from Trump last month.
Mandel and Dolan have conceded and endorsed Vance.
“The stakes are too high for this country to not support the nominee.”@JoshMandelOhio concedes to @JDVance1 and endorses the fellow Republican in a short speech. He thanks his team and says he’s going to spend time with his family and friends. @SpectrumNews1OH #OhioPrimary pic.twitter.com/IzU3w1caDk
— Ryan Schmelz (@rschmelztv) May 4, 2022
JD Vance and I have debated our differences, and in this hard fought campaign he was successful. Just as I will never quit fighting for Ohio, I now pledge to unite our party and endorse JD Vance to be our next U.S. Senator. pic.twitter.com/1oSMmN6rWA
— Matt Dolan (@dolan4ohio) May 4, 2022
It’s primary day in Ohio and Indiana, but all eyes are on the Buckeye State. It’s an important GOP Senate primary because the Senate is divided 50-50. The GOP needs the right candidate so retiring Rob Portman’s seat stays red.
But we could also see if President Donald Trump’s influence remains with GOP voters.
The polls close at 7:30 PM ET. LIVE:
Senate candidates: state Sen. Matt Dolan, businessman Mike Gibbons, former state treasurer Josh Mandel, former state party chair Jane Timken, and author J.D. Vance.
Trump endorsed Vance despite being a former “never Trump” person and saying not-so-nice things about the former president.
So why did Trump endorse him? From Cleveland.com:
“He’s a guy that said some bad s–t about me. He did,” Trump said of Vance. “But you know what? Every one of the others did also. In fact, if I went by that standard, I probably never would have endorsed anyone in the country. They all said back, but they came back.
“But I have to do what I have to do,” he continued. “We have to pick somebody that can win.”
“I like a lot of the other people in the race, but we have to pick the one that’s going to win,” Trump said. “This guy is tough as hell. He’s going to win. We have to pick him. He’s right. He’s the guy. He’s the guy.”
The Senate race has received the most attention but there are a few House races to watch:
Ohio’s 1st Congressional District
- The real action in this race won’t take place until November. Longtime Rep. Steve Chabot is the default GOP nominee in his bid for a 14th term after his primary opponent dropped out last week, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Chabot has turned back well-funded Democratic challenges in recent cycles in his Cincinnati-area district, which became more Democratic in redistricting, going from a seat that backed Trump by 3 points in 2020 to one that would have supported Joe Biden by about 9 points. The fall election is once again expected to be competitive. Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Ohio’s 7th Congressional District
- This district was almost completely redrawn this year, transforming from a largely rural district to one that included more of the Cleveland suburbs. Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs is not running for reelection, citing frustration with the redistricting process. Former Trump aide Max Miller is the front-runner for the GOP nomination, with support from his former boss, and has dominated the field in fundraising. Podcast host Matthew Diemer is seeking the Democratic nomination, but Democrats will likely find it hard to flip a seat that would have backed Trump by 9 points in 2020.
Ohio’s 9th Congressional District
- Republicans are looking to oust the longest-serving woman in US House history, Democrat Marcy Kaptur, in this Northwest Ohio district. Kaptur, who was first elected in 1982, has seen her district shift from a safe Democratic seat that currently stretches from Toledo to Cleveland along Lake Erie to a swing district that now pushes west from Toledo to the Indiana border. The leading Republican candidates include state Rep. Craig Riedel, state Sen. Theresa Gavarone and Air Force veteran JR Majewski. Kaptur could become the longest-serving woman in congressional history, surpassing former Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, if she’s sworn into a 21st term next year. But she would first have to win reelection this fall in a district that Trump would have carried by 3 points in 2020.
Ohio’s 11th Congressional District
- Rep. Shontel Brown and progressive challenger Nina Turner are facing off in a rematch for the Democratic nomination for a deep-blue Cleveland-area district. Biden weighed in on the race last week, throwing his support behind the incumbent. Brown, a former Cuyahoga County Council member, defeated Turner in an August special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left to become Biden’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Turner, a former state senator and close ally of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is hoping for a different result this time in a district that no longer stretches into Akron and that would have backed Biden by 58 points. The winner will be the heavy favorite in November.
Ohio’s 13th Congressional District
- This Northeast Ohio district is up for grabs with Democratic incumbent Tim Ryan running for US Senate. The district changed significantly in redistricting and now includes all of Akron as well as Canton. Biden would have carried it by 3 points. Democrat Emilia Sykes, a former minority leader of the Ohio state House, is unopposed in her primary. On the GOP side, Trump has thrown his support behind attorney and conservative political commentator Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, who is also a former Miss Ohio USA. Gilbert served on Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, including as co-chair of the Women for Trump coalition in 2020.
HOWEVER! Ohio could have a second primary since the state cannot agree on a new Congressional map:
That appears to be the most likely scenario. An impasse over a Republican redistricting plan that the Ohio Supreme Court rejected four times means that state legislative races will be conspicuously absent from the ballot when primary voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
Barring the last-minute intervention of the courts or the legislature, Ohio will be forced to hold a second primary, which state officials have said will most likely occur on Aug. 2.
Splitting up the primaries into two elections could cost an additional $15 million to $20 million, according to Frank LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state, who is a Republican.
At least nine lawsuits have been filed in response to the maps drawn by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, a seven-member panel controlled by Republicans.
Democrats contend that the maps give Republicans an unfair advantage in legislative races, while Republicans maintain that they reflect the election results from the past decade in Ohio.
A three-judge federal court panel in Ohio ruled on April 20 that if the commission does not develop an acceptable map by May 28, the panel will have no choice but to require the state to use the third version of the commission’s map, even though the Ohio Supreme Court previously rejected it.
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