Former President Donald Trump this week endorsed Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s re-election bid against Democratic former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
“… We have an outstanding person running, Mike DeWine, who quietly, but professionally and patriotically, goes about doing his job, and really well,” the former chief executive said in a statement. “Running alongside his very talented and loyal Lieutenant Governor, Jon Husted, Ohio has been in strong hands with the Economy ‘roaring,’ especially in the four years that I was President.”
Trump went on to blast Whaley as “a terrible person” and a “failed mayor” who saw crime surge when she presided over her city from 2014 to 2022.
DeWine has consistently polled ahead of Whaley after the two secured their respective parties’ nominations in the May 3 primary. Mid-August polls from Emerson College and the Trafalgar Group each had DeWine 16 percentage points ahead.
Whaley and other Democrats used DeWine’s endorsement from Trump to suggest the GOP candidate is contradicting the more resistant posture he took toward the ex-president in the past.
“It’s been clear for years that Mike DeWine goes whichever way the political winds blow, looking out solely for himself regardless of what’s best for our state,” Whaley wrote on Twitter. “After avoiding being seen with Trump for years, he’s happy to take his endorsement now that he needs it.”
Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Matt Keyes voiced a similar perspective in a tweet of his own.
“DeWine once said Trump ‘has started a fire that has threatened to burn down our Democracy,’” Keyes tweeted. “Now, DeWine has traded his dignity for this weak-ass ‘endorsement,’ if you can even call it that.”
Conservatives weren’t universally thrilled with Trump’s praise of the moderate DeWine either.
“Mike DeWine shut down the State of Ohio, stripped Ohioans of their most basic rights, destroyed the lives of countless men, women and children around our state, is currently pushing unconstitutional red flag gun laws — and he’s rewarded with an endorsement from Donald Trump,” former 7th district Republican congressional candidate Jonah Schulz lamented.
DeWine himself, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude for Trump’s backing.
“Lt. Governor @JonHusted and I are grateful for President Trump’s support!” the governor tweeted. “Thank you. #WiningForOH.”
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