Author J.D. Vance is running in Ohio’s Republican Senate primary for the retiring Senator Rob Portman’s seat.
The endorsement could signify a shift in Trump’s strategy. He typically endorses the frontrunner, yet polls show Vance a few points behind Josh Mandel. He may be testing his ability to push candidates forward with his support.
In any case, it puts an end to months of bitter infighting as candidates competed for Trump’s attention. Trump acknowledged the decision was not an easy one to make.
“I like and respect some of the other candidates in the race—they’ve said great things about ‘Trump’ and, like me, they love Ohio and love our Country,” Trump said.
Vance notoriously criticized some of Trump’s actions as president in leaked messages from 2017. Trump referenced this in his statement.
“Like some others, J.D. Vance may have said some not so great things about me in the past, but he gets it now, and I have seen that in spades,” Trump said. “He is our best chance for victory in what could be a very tough race.”
Vance responded positively to the endorsement on his Twitter.
I’m incredibly honored to have President Trump’s support. He was an incredible fighter for hard working Americans in the White House, he will be again, and I’ll fight for the America First Agenda in the Senate. https://t.co/s3d3JhTgBC— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) April 15, 2022