Trump endorses DeWine in Ohio governor's race, after not doing so before contested primary in May

Gov. Mike DeWine shakes hands with President Trump
Gov. Mike DeWine shakes hands with President Trump when he arrives in Dayton on August 3, 2019, after a mass shooting left nine people dead. [Shealah Craighead / The White House]
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Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Mike DeWine, Ohio's Republican incumbent governor running for reelection, four months after choosing not to make an endorsement in DeWine's contested Republican primary.

Before the May primary, Trump endorsed nearly all elected Republican statewide officeholders and members of Congress. But he didn’t back anyone in the race for governor then, though both Jim Renacci and Joe Blystone were overtly angling for Trump's support.

Trump's endorsement comes as DeWine has millions in his campaign bank and with polls suggesting he holds a big lead. .

DeWine backed Trump both in 2016 and in 2020, serving as a co-chair of his reelection campaign, along with nearly every other prominent Republican officeholder in Ohio.

But DeWine did congratulate President Joe Biden soon after his win in November 2020 and blasted Trump the day after the violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

"President Trump's continued refusal to accept the election results without producing credible evidence of a rigged election has started a fire that's threatened to burn down our democracy," said DeWine at a press conference on January 7, 2021.

Trump has apparently looked past that with his endorsement, in which he said, "Things are really starting to look good in Ohio for Republicans." Trump called DeWine “an outstanding person” who “quietly, but professionally and patriotically, goes about doing his job, and really well." Trump said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted is “very talented and loyal."

DeWine tweeted out the endorsement, saying he was “grateful” to Trump.

DeWine hasn't done any campaigning with Trump in the last year, but Trump has only had one event in Ohio recently — the Delaware County rally in April that featured Trump-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance along with Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Auditor Keith Faber and some members of Congress. DeWine did not appear at the event.

Democratic opponent Nan Whaley tweeted, “After avoiding being seen with Trump for years, he’s happy to take his endorsement now that he needs it.”

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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