Former President Donald Trump's politics are the model being adopted by GOP candidates running for the open Senate seat in Ohio created when Sen. Rob Portman announced he would not seek re-election in 2022.
A new analysis by Haley BeMiller in The Columbus Dispatch explores how GOP candidates are running on Trump's message.
"Observers say it's a strategy that works in Ohio as the GOP shifts right and away from politicians like Sen. Rob Portman – but which candidate can make it work remains to be seen," BeMiller wrote.
Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, venture capitalist J.D. Vance, former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken, car dealer Bernie Moreno and investment banker Mike Gibbons have all announced campaigns.
"Moreno and Gibbons are wealthy businessmen who have never held elected office. Timken secured her position as GOP chair with Trump's support. Vance grew up in Appalachia, his family poor and gripped by addiction, before attending Yale and launching a career as a venture capitalist. Mandel is a veteran whose history in politics runs deeper than that of his opponents," the newspaper reported. "And as recent financial disclosures showed, Moreno, Timken and Mandel all have huge sums of money to their names."
The race has turned ugly as candidates fight for Trump's affection.
"There have been attacks a-plenty since the race started as every candidate clamors for the 45th president's endorsement. Vance in particular was blasted for bashing Trump and his supporters in 2016, but others have been chided for any ounce of their history that appears out of line with the Trump doctrine," BeMiller explained. "They're also fighting over who's most likely to raise hell in Washington."
Read the full analysis.