Government Watch / Politics

It’s a Race for the “America First” Mantle in Ohio GOP Senate Primary

AMAC Exclusive – by Seamus Brennan


As the Biden administration continues to collapse and Republicans grow more optimistic in their bid to win back both chambers of Congress next fall, their focus is narrowing to a handful of swing states that will likely determine control of the now-evenly split Senate. Among these states is longtime battleground Ohio, where a Senate seat will soon become vacant.

Following Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) retirement announcement earlier this year, a crowded and highly competitive field of potential successors has emerged—highlighting both the high-stakes battle for control of the Senate and the fight over the future of the GOP. Ohio has been trending solidly red in recent elections: the state has not swung blue in a presidential election since 2012, and the electoral successes of Ohio’s only Democrat senator, Sherrod Brown, are likely due to the years he happened to run for reelection–in 2012 on the coattails of President Obama, and in 2018 during a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.. As such, whoever wins the Republican nomination for Portman’s Senate seat looks well-positioned come next November.

Among the contenders vying for the seat are author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman Jane Timken, Cleveland-based car dealer Bernie Moreno, and investment banker Mike Gibbons.

The primary, for which a date has not yet been set, has predominantly revolved around advancing President Trump’s populist message. Though there is no clear frontrunner at this point in the race, in recent weeks momentum has been trending steadily in Vance’s direction. A Middletown, Ohio native, Vance rose to national prominence following the release of his 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy, which many political pundits and academics have cited as an insightful examination of the concerns of the so-called “forgotten men and women of America” who helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016.

Vance has since embraced his outsider status and formulated his policy platform as a continuation of the Trump administration’s America First agenda. On his campaign website, Vance brands himself as someone who “understands how our economic and government leaders conspire to make life harder for normal Americans” and who “knows what it’s like to live in a left-behind community.”

Vance’s national popularity has predictably earned him criticism from the media and other members of the elite class. In July, The Atlantic rebuked him as a “contemptible and cringe-inducing clown,” and as his national profile continues to rise, mainstream media platforms have seemingly made it a top priority to cast his character, candor, and motivations into question—something Vance has welcomed as a sign his candidacy poses a formidable threat to establishment politics.

Vance’s opponents have also embraced a populist message. Josh Mandel, who served on the Lyndhurst, Ohio city council and in the state legislature prior to his two terms as state Treasurer, has stated that, throughout his career in politics, he has not owed “anything to anybody” and his sole commitment has been “to the people.” Jane Timken’s campaign has put her forward as “a conservative disrupter who will go to Washington to cut through the noise and get things done.” Bernie Moreno has said that “politicians need to listen to the demands of the people more than the people need to listen to demands from ‘the experts,’” while Mike Gibbons declared that “career politicians have failed us.”

Though President Trump himself has not yet weighed in on the race or made an endorsement, members of his administration and others in his orbit have begun selecting their preferred candidates: Vance has earned the endorsement of former Trump National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Mandel was endorsed by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Timken was endorsed by Governor Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Moreno was endorsed by former Senior Counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway. Gibbons has also been endorsed by Senator Rand Paul, an influential political figure in neighboring Kentucky.

Although the primary season is still young, the trajectory of Ohio’s Republican senatorial candidates paints an unambiguous picture of the direction of the party. While the GOP continues to lay the groundwork to achieve a Senate majority next November, it remains clearer than ever that the establishment-ridden GOP of yesteryear is dead. The future of the Republican Party now looks to be ambitiously building on the foundation laid by President Trump and his America First agenda.

As with any open seat, Democrats are sure to mount an aggressive challenge, desperate to pick up any seats to preserve their majority. But regardless of who ultimately emerges from the primary contest, recent history in Ohio gives the Republican nominee a good chance to win the general election next November – as long as they remain true to the America First principles that have helped turn Ohio from a swing state to a solidly Republican state in less than a decade.

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1 year ago

The only way forward to save Our Country is America First!
ALL the anti freedom,communists in the democrat party MUST GO!
They are self serving, useless, traitors!
Bye-bye, 2022 they purge begins!

1 year ago

Now is the time to impeach biden. It probably would not get him out of office but it would expose the ones in congress that would not vote to impeach him. This would point the finger at the ones that need to be voted out of office, or in other words “term limit them”.

1 year ago

I can’t resist sounding a warning … if the election process can not be cleaned up to insure one-man-one vote in complete privacy followed with an honest accurate counting of votes … the DemocRats will continue to hold sway. They have mastered how to rig elections based on the ineffective methods employed in the last POTUS election. We have gone from a Constitutional Democracy where the majority selects who rules, to a DemocRat rigged fiasco that puts an incompetent crook in the POTUS. This can’t protect and defend our Constitutional democracy if it is NOT fixed to eliminate the flaws that allowed the DemocRats in the last POTUS election. And I might add the so called unbiased news media must be brought to be accountable … for the most part much of the recent media has been pretty much a DemocRat partisan political outlet with some exceptions.

Theo Prinse
1 year ago

Trump has only two-third in the House and 20 percent in the senate. The other republicans are TRAITORS

1 year ago

All good candidates from what i know. Still, unless you get the vote secure and honest,NO ONE HAS A CHANCE,BY DESIGN. Got to get this reliable and honest or the worthless and unscrupulous lead the votes. As old joe stalin (you thought i meant old joe biden right?)

It matters not who you vote for, what matters is who counts the votes. Come to think of it, maybe the 2 joes are closer to each other than i know.

Gunny Joe
1 year ago

Till the VOTE is made safe, all elections are lost. As long as the voting process is overseen by less than honest people, all will be in question. People make your election safe, and count, do not set back like you have in the past!

1 year ago

Let’s hope the POTUS field has a similar emphasis.

1 year ago

Vote out the Rino one at the time!

1 year ago

It’s time to VOTE out Sherrod Brown!!! Waiting for information to come out about All these candidates from IVoter. The REPUBLICANS running All need to adhere to the Conservative REPUBLICAN Image Of Ronald Reagan! We Must Get Rid Of The RHINOS!!! If we want to Keep America First and Make America Great Again And Regain The Trust Of Our Alies!!!

1 year ago
Reply to  K

I agree!!!!

1 year ago
Reply to  K

it’s “Rinos” (Republicans In Name Only), not “Rhinos”. Almost either way it fits the subject if you mean … big clumsy beasts that snort and root around and are dangerous.

Barb Robinson
1 year ago

This article forgets to mention Josh Mandel’s creation and publication of the Ohio Treasure’s website creating transparency with Ohio’s spending. It is also not mentioned in the article, that Josh Mandel is a United States Marine Veteran, who has a strong Christian Faith and will protect our rights as both Ohio and American citizens as a firm believer in both the Constitution and Bible. Check out his website to learn more. I am not one of his campaign people, I am just someone who has met and talked with him and honestly believe this is the right man for the job! ????????

Thomas Mcgeehan
1 year ago
Reply to  Barb Robinson

Can’t have enough Marines in congress.

1 year ago
Reply to  Barb Robinson

He is!!!

Bill on the Hill
1 year ago

Great story here with no absolutes yet! With Trump’s America First Agenda as the blueprint moving forward, allows for some genuine political leadership for Ohio, a person that truly serves the people & NOT subordinate to special interest groups or outside influences…The Democrats thrive in that very environment & to many Republicans to easily slide down that slippery slope…Ohio needs a true conservative that serves the people, NOT a RINO that is nothing more than a Democrat in sheep’s clothing…Trump being the non-politician he was/is battled this very thing his entire 1st term. With citizen Trump actively pushing the America First Agenda, this has put the Conservative Republicans into a much stronger position of winning elections through honesty & strength of character…
With all the other stuff currently taking place with our wide open southern border crisis & now the importation of Afghanis Muslims into our nation, we need strong honorable leadership, now more than ever…I would consider this article a ” message of hope. ”
Bill on the Hill… :~)

1 year ago

Yes, Ohio definitely needs a true conservative to balance things again. Sen. Portman swung way left after his son announced his life style and father followed the way. Sen. Brown just follows the Democratic agenda without consulting what the people need…oops, I forgot, he is a professional “POLI-TICK”. Hopefully the people of Ohio will wake up to help correct the mess in DC, although the state tends to keep one of each (R/D) in DC.

1 year ago

One seat at a time, consistent message to Save America!
We the People are Our Country’s only hope.
All who sacrificed for Freedom , future generations,, are counting on us.

1 year ago

Do something? What can be done? What can I do as the average John Citizen? I’m new on these comments. It seems Republicans agree about at least two things. What you stated is one of them. The second is that, though there are very intelligent, even brilliant people on the Democrats side, they are duped by even more brilliantly packaged propaganda that keeps them on the ticket. We’ve seen many nations fall this way. On the first point, it’s stated, “Republicans need to do something!”. So what can “Average John/Jane” DO!!! DO you have a list of leaders and groups that ARE DOING SOMETHING significant so that I might at least support them intellectually and effectively? I support Trump!!!

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