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Ohio GOP leaders try to stop Trump's endorsement of Vance

Ohio Republican leaders are making a last-minute push to convince former President Donald Trump to not endorse "Hillbilly Elegy", author JD Vanance in the crowded primary for a vacant Senate seat.

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Ohio GOP leaders try to stop Trump's endorsement of Vance

The Associated Press obtained a draft letter circulated among Republicans, calling on Trump to remain neutral in this race. It was written in response to a report that Trump would endorse Vance. This step has not been taken by the former president.

However, the letter shows concern among Republicans about who candidate Trump might pick ahead of the May 3rd primary. Some of Trump's loyal supporters have been particularly critical of Vance for expressing disapproval about the former president in the recent past. This was highlighted by the Republicans in their letter.

They remind Trump of Vance’s past comments in bullet points. This includes references to possible support for Hillary Clinton and comparing Trump to "another opioid".

They wrote that they knew there were many qualified candidates in the race who had stood for the America First agenda throughout the years and carried the Trump mantle through the years again, with the notable exception being JD Vance. JD Vance actively opposed your candidacy while we were in Ohio supporting you and Making America Great Again.

The letter was signed by GOP party leaders and a number of county chairmen. It states that an endorsement that undermines your support and legacy for Ohio "will only serve to confuse and upset voters" and could even reduce Republican turnout in fall.

Representatives of Trump and Vance did not respond to requests to comment, despite Vance stating that he regretted his past comments.

David Johnson, chairman, Columbiana County Republican Party said that the letter was drafted and circulated by him. He explained that the effort came together through a series phone calls between party chairmen on Thursday.

Johnson, who endorsed Jane Timken for Senate as former Ohio Republican Party chair, stated that the letter was signed by 40 to 50 people. This includes Timken supporters, Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland investment banker, and state senator Matt Dolan. The seven-way primary to succeed Republican U.S. Senator is completed by two additional candidates. Rob Portman.

"All of us believe it's not smart to win that seat. He stated that this is the goal.

Vance supporters urged Trump to stay with him, however.

Marshall Pitchford (chair of Ohio Right to Life) stated that President Trump would make a great choice by supporting JD Vance. "JD is 100% prolife without exceptions. He will continue to support President Trump's prolife victories in US Senate."

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