Trump makes a huge difference.
As Trump is yet to endorse a GOP Candidate in Ohio’s highly contested primary on May 3, he has helped narrow the field.
It appears the former President was instrumental in Cleveland-based businessman and luxury auto dealership giant Bernie Moreno’s decision to suspend his campaign after requesting and holding a meeting with Trump.
In a statement released on Thursday night, Moreno explained that he was a businessman and not a politician, stating that “Business leaders recognize patterns before they happen. After talking to President Trump, we both agreed this race has too many Trump candidates and could cost the MAGA movement a conservative seat.”
Mere minutes after Moreno released a statement, Trump followed with a statement of his own. In his statement, Trump praised Moreno for his love for Ohio and the “great MAGA Movement,” saying Moreno’s decision helped ensure “the MAGA Ticket wins BIG, as it is all over the Country.” He concluded by thanking Moreno for his support.
But Moreno was one of several Republican contenders hoping to tout their Trump credentials to get the former President’s backing and win the primaries.
Other Republicans still contending for the primaries include Josh Mandel, Ohio treasurer, Jane Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, Mike Gibbons, former Republican Senate candidate, J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and best-selling author, and Ohio State Senator Matt Dolan, who isn’t vying for Trump’s support.
The battle among these five has become expensive. Timken has spent millions of her own money on her campaign, Dolan, $10 million of his own money, and Gibbons $11 million from his pocket.
Mandel’s campaign has been fueled by Club for Growth Action, a group spending freely to target rival candidates.
Vance receives his backing from a $10 million contribution from Peter Theil, his former boss, a PayPal co-founder, and billionaire venture capitalist.
Democrats shunned the highly-contested primaries, with the Ohio Democratic party stating that Moreno’s exit only highlighted “how chasing an out-of-state endorsement instead of focusing on Ohioans has made this crowded primary nasty and chaotic.”
Michael Beyer, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party also delivered a scathing observation, saying that to “stand out, the out-of-touch millionaires will be forced to take unpopular positions and deepen nasty feuds that will harm whoever emerges from this clown car Republican primary.”
But, whoever emerges from this so-called clown car is likely to emerge as the favorite in November’s General Elections.