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J.D. Vance tries to ride Trump endorsement to Ohio Senate win

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First-time candidate J.D. Vance hammered the Beltway establishment Saturday as he rode a “Trump bump” in Ohio’s heated Republican Senate primary — with Tuesday’s results expected to reveal the extent of the former president’s power over the party.

A host of Trump allies have flocked to Ohio to stump with Vance, the bestselling “Hillbilly Elegy” author who won Trump’s backing two weeks ago.

“There are a few good people in Washington. Probably not even 15 or 20,” Vance said Saturday at a town hall meeting in an East Canton, Ohio banquet hall.

“If we get more people who are fighters on Capitol Hill, we can finally start to reverse the decay in this country,” he said.

Vance was joined Saturday by two of the GOP’s most controversial firebrands, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — one week after Trump boosted Vance in an April 23 rally. Donald Trump Jr. and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley have also appeared with Vance in recent days.

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

Trump’s seal of approval could be the difference-maker in the seven-candidate race: a Fox News poll released Tuesday saw Vance’s support jump by 12 points, vaulting him into the top position with 23 percent of the vote.

Former state treasurer Josh Mandel and businessman Mike Gibbons, who led in previous surveys, both lost ground, the poll found.

The seat, formerly held by retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman, is expected to remain in GOP hands in increasingly red Ohio, where Trump beat President Joe Biden in 2020 by an 8-point margin.



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