JD Vance Wins Hard-Fought GOP Primary in Ohio

Race was seen as a test of Trump's endorsement power
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2022 6:42 PM CDT
Updated May 3, 2022 8:53 PM CDT
Ohio Votes in Hard-Fought GOP Senate Primary
US Senate Republican candidate Josh Mandel enters the polling booth at Beachwood High School, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Beachwood, Ohio.   (AP Photo/David Dermer)

This story has been updated with election results. The AP has called the hard-fought Ohio Republican US Senate primary for JD Vance. The race, one of the most contentious and closely watched Senate primaries in the country, was seen as an early referendum on Donald Trump's hold on the GOP as the midterm primary season kicks into high gear. The Hillbilly Elegy author was seen as the frontrunner in the GOP race to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman after receiving Trump’s late-stage support, capping a bitter and expensive contest that, at one point, saw two candidates nearly come to blows on a debate stage.

Vance will face 10-term Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who has distanced himself from the progressive wing of his party ahead of what is expected to be a difficult year for Democrats seeking to hold their congressional majorities. Ryan easily won the Democratic primary Tuesday. With around 60% of the vote in the GOP primary in, Vance has more than 31% of the vote, compared to around 24% for former state treasurer Josh Mandel and 22% for Matt Dolan, the only GOP contender in the crowded field who didn't seek Trump's endorsement, per the New York Times.

The Vance victory will likely embolden Trump to keep asserting himself in primary campaigns ahead of another potential presidential run. A setback would have raised questions about whether GOP voters are seeking a new direction, the AP reports. In other Ohio results, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine defeated two hardline opponents and won the GOP primary despite backlash from conservatives over COVID-19 mandates. According to a CNN projection, he will face Democratic challenger Nan Whaley, former mayor of Dayton, in November.

(Read more Election 2022 stories.)

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