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Longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway backs Jane Timken in Ohio Senate GOP primary

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Longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway backs Jane Timken in Ohio Senate GOP primary

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FIRST ON FOX: Kellyanne Conway, who was a top adviser to former President Trump for most of his time in the White House, is endorsing Jane Timken in the Ohio Senate race Tuesday, 

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“Jane Timken is a true MAGA champion who was there for President Trump in 2016 and throughout his presidency when many others, including her opponents, hid or stayed on the sidelines,” Conway said in a statement. “In a field of click-bait candidates, celebrities and rich guys trying to buy this election, Jane stands out as the thoughtful leader, mom on a mission, and problem-solver ready to tackle the issues facing Ohio.”

Former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken speaks at former President Trump's Make America Great Again Rally on July 25, 2017, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken speaks at former President Trump’s Make America Great Again Rally on July 25, 2017, in Youngstown, Ohio.
(Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Conway’s endorsement gives Timken, the former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party, another high-profile Trump ally on her side after endorsements in recent months from South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.

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Timken was part of a wave of pro-Trump officials who were elected to lead state parties in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, when many establishment Republicans were reluctant to support the former president. Timken was endorsed by Trump when she ran for that job – but Trump himself hasn’t endorsed in the Ohio Senate primary yet this year.

Kellyanne Conway, who advised former President Trump for much of his time in the White House, walks back into the West Wing following an interview with Fox News outside the White House July 7, 2020, in Washington. Conway is endorsing former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken in the Ohio Senate race. 

Kellyanne Conway, who advised former President Trump for much of his time in the White House, walks back into the West Wing following an interview with Fox News outside the White House July 7, 2020, in Washington. Conway is endorsing former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken in the Ohio Senate race. 
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Conway previously supported 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 votes.

That made Trump’s longtime counselor a free agent in the race, and now Conway is throwing her support behind Timken. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem meets with then-Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken at an Ohio Republican Party event in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2020. Noem endorsed Timken's run for Ohio Senate this year. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem meets with then-Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken at an Ohio Republican Party event in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2020. Noem endorsed Timken’s run for Ohio Senate this year. 
(Jane Timken Senate campaign)

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“I am honored to have Kellyanne Conway’s support and guidance as we head into the most crucial part of this campaign,” Timken said in a statement. “Kellyanne’s strategic insights and leadership helped support 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.”

Among the other candidates in the GOP primary are former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, state Sen. Matt Dolan and investment banker Mike Gibbons. 

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Vance’s national backers include Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Mandel’s supporters include Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. Gibbons is supported by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien recently signed up as a senior adviser for this campaign. 

Ohio’s Senate seat is open this year because Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, is retiring. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, appears to be the front-runner for the Democrat nomination for that seat. 

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. 

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Longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway backs Jane Timken in Ohio Senate GOP primary