Updated Apr 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race

U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance speaks with prospective voters on the campaign trail on April 11, 2022 in Troy, Ohio.
Senate candidate JD Vance speaks with prospective voters on the campaign trail on April 11 in Troy, Ohio. Photo: Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

Former President Trump on Friday endorsed Republican JD Vance in Ohio's Senate primary.

Driving the news: Trump in recent days began calling donors and advisers to weigh a Vance endorsement but held off after pressure from the GOP campaigns of Josh Mandel and Jane Timken, who had attempted to dissuade him from the endorsement, NBC News reported.

  • Trump advisers say that the former president sees an opportunity to propel Vance's campaign with an endorsement. Vance is currently running in about third place in recent polling, per NBC.
  • NBC was the first to report on Trump's endorsement.

What they're saying: "Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now," the former President said in a statement.

  • "In the Great State of Ohio, the candidate most qualified and ready to win in November is J.D. Vance. We cannot play games. It is all about winning," Trump added.

The big picture: Vance last summer announced his bid to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman.

  • Vance was a strong critic against Trump in 2016, but became a supporter in 2020. "[I]f I actually care about these people and the things I say I care about, I need to just suck it up and support him," Vance told TIME's Molly Ball.
  • Vance has also has touted the warm words he has gotten from Fox News' Tucker Carlson and top MAGA personality Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA.
  • The "Hillbilly Elegy" author has put culture wars, Big Tech and economic populism at the forefront of his campaign, Axios' Mike Allen writes.

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