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FIRST ON FOX: Kellyanne Conway, who served as a top adviser to former President Donald Trump for most of his time in the White House, is backing Jane Timken in the Ohio Senate race on Tuesday,
“Jane Timken is a true MAGA champion who was there for President Trump in 2016 and throughout his presidency when many others, including his opponents, went into hiding or were left on the sidelines,” Conway said in a statement. “In a group of click-bait candidates, celebrities and wealthy men trying to buy this election, Jane stands out as a thoughtful leader, mom on a mission and a problem solver ready to tackle the problems facing her. ‘Ohio is facing.’
Conway’s endorsement gives Timken, the former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman, another top Trump ally at his side after endorsements in recent months from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y.
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Timken was part of a wave of pro-Trump officials who were elected to lead state parties following the 2016 presidential election, when many establishment Republicans were reluctant to back the former President. Timken was endorsed by Trump when she ran for the position — but Trump himself has yet to endorse Ohio’s Senate primary this year.
Conway previously endorsed Bernie Moreno for the Ohio Senate seat. But Trump earlier this month appeared to convince Moreno to drop out of the race to help narrow the field. Moreno said he dropped out in part because there were “too many Trump candidates” splitting the votes.
It made the longtime Trump adviser a free agent in the running, and now Conway is throwing her support behind Timken.
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“I am honored to have the support and guidance of Kellyanne Conway as we head into the most crucial part of this campaign,” Timken said in a statement. “Kellyanne’s strategic insights and leadership have helped underpin President Trump’s incredible successes for this country, and she will be an important team member in the fight to protect that progress and reverse the destruction of the radical left.”
Other GOP primary candidates include former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance, State Senator Matt Dolan and investment banker Mike Gibbons.
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Vance and Mandel also have high-level GOP national endorsers. Vance’s backers include Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Mandel supporters include Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.
The Ohio Senate seat is open this year because Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is retiring. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, appears to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for that seat.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.