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EXCLUSIVE: In Ohio‘s crowded and combustible Republican Senate primary, where all but one of the leading contenders is spotlighting their support for Donald Trump in hopes of earning the former president’s endorsement, Jane Timken is taking aim at her male rivals.
Timken, who last year stepped down as Ohio GOP chair to launch her Senate campaign, is showcasing her Trump credentials and playfully jabbing at three other contenders also seeking the former president’s support in a new commercial which starts running on Friday that was shared first with Fox News.
“We all know guys who overcompensate for their inadequacies, and that description fits the guys in the Senate race to a T,” Timken says to camera in the spot.
Next to her are photos of three of her top rivals – Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland entrepreneur, real estate developer and investment banker who’s making his second bid for the Senate GOP nomination, former Ohio treasurer and former two-time Senate candidate Josh Mandel, and J.D. Vance, a hedge fund executive and the author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy.”
All four candidates have been making a full court press to earn the endorsement of Trump, who remains very popular and influential with Republican voters in Ohio and across the country as he continues to play a kingmaker’s role in GOP primaries and repeatedly teases another White House run in 2024.
“Well, I’m different. I’m the MAGA conservative with a backbone,” Timken spotlights, as she stands next to a photo of her with Trump.
And pointing to her tenure as Ohio GOP chair, she touts “I turned Ohio into Trump country. And as your next senator, I’ll fight for stronger borders, American jobs, and parents’ rights.”
The only candidate among the leading GOP contenders in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman not to make a full-court press to land Trump’s endorsement is state Sen. Matt Dolan, a former prosecutor whose family owns Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians, formerly known as the Indians.
Timken’s campaign tells Fox News their new spot will run statewide in Ohio as part of their existing six-figure ad buy. The release of Timken’s commercial comes a couple of days after new ad from Gibbons questioned Vance and Timken’s Trump credentials.
With GOP primary field chock-full of wealthy contenders who are also backed by well-financed super PACs, nearly $20 million has been spent to date to run ads, according to figures from the national ad tracking firm AdImpact. And nearly all the ad spending, with two and a half months still to go until Ohio’s May 3 primary, has been on the Republican side.