COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Dozens of Republican leaders in Ohio are mounting a last-minute effort to induce former President Donald Trump to not endorse “Hillbilly Elegy” creator JD Vance within the crowded upcoming primary for an open Senate seat.
A draft letter circulating amongst Republicans and obtained by The Related Press calls on Trump to stay impartial within the race. It was written following a news report that Trump was going to endorse Vance, a step the former president has not yet taken.
However the letter is an indication of hysteria amongst some Republicans about which candidate Trump may pick upfront of the state’s Could 3 main. Vance has come underneath explicit scrutiny from a few of Trump’s most loyal supporters for criticizing the previous president previously, one thing the Republicans highlighted of their letter.
In bullet factors, they remind Trump of Vance’s previous feedback, together with references to probably supporting Hillary Clinton and evaluating the previous president to “one other opioid.”
“We all know there are numerous certified candidates on this race who’ve stood up for the America First agenda through the years and have carried the Trump mantle through the years, once more with the notable exception of JD Vance,” they wrote. “Whereas we have been working exhausting in Ohio to help you and Make America Nice Once more, JD Vance was actively working in opposition to your candidacy.”
The letter, signed by GOP occasion leaders, together with a slew of county chairs, tells the previous president that “an endorsement that cuts in opposition to your help and legacy in Ohio will solely serve to confuse or upset voters” and will even suppress Republican turnout within the fall.
Representatives for Trump and Vance, who has mentioned he regrets his previous feedback, didn’t reply to requests for remark.
David Johnson, chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Occasion, who helped to draft and flow into the letter, mentioned the trouble got here collectively in a collection of telephone calls between occasion chairs Thursday.
Johnson, who has endorsed former Ohio Republican Occasion chair Jane Timken for Senate, mentioned the letter has now been signed by between 40 and 50 folks, together with supporters of Timken, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Cleveland funding banker Mike Gibbons and state Sen. Matt Dolan. Two different candidates spherical out a seven-way main to interchange Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman.
“All of us assume it’s simply not a sensible factor to do for successful that seat. That’s the target,” he mentioned.
Vance supporters, in the meantime, urged Trump to stay with him.
“President Trump can be making a incredible alternative by endorsing JD Vance,” mentioned Marshall Pitchford, the chairman of Ohio Proper to Life. “JD is 100% pro-life with out exceptions. He’ll proceed President Trump’s pro-life victories within the US Senate.”