Trump rallies in Dayton for Vance and other GOP candidates, says ‘important’ news coming next week

DAYTON — Former President Donald Trump rallied Monday in Dayton for Ohio U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance and other Republican candidates and said that he has a “very big announcement” coming on Nov. 15.

Rumors had been flying that Trump would announce in Dayton his plan to run for president in 2024, but Trump said, “We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow” and that his news will come next week at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Trump repeated his thoughts about alleged election fraud, saying it cost him the 2020 election. He outlined a long list of grievances about multiple criminal, civil and congressional investigations of him and his business.

“I have gone through the largest witch hunt in the history of our country,” Trump said.

“J.D. you’ve got to get it stopped,” Trump said. “That’s the beginning of communism.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Trump repeatedly referenced Vance in his comments and urged people to vote for him, saying he would be an independent voice for Ohio and against Biden’s policies, which Trump said have ruined the country.

“We are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation,” Trump said.

Trump also urged the crowd to vote for a variety of Republican candidates, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who briefly came on stage and complimented Vance.

In remarks before Trump spoke, Vance predicted a “red wave” on Election Day and told the crowd they would be the ones who would give Republicans control of Congress again.

“When we get to Washington D.C., Republicans, we need to govern like we won the majority the American people gave us, not like a bunch of cowards,” said Vance, a Republican businessman of Cincinnati. “No more RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), no more people who compromise and lose our country in the process.”

Vance said America is in decline and he blamed inflation on President Joe Biden’s energy policies. Vance denounced Biden and Ryan for what he called an “open” southern border that allows drugs to come into the U.S.

“There is no group of violent people who are more in need of us to get to work on them than the Mexican drug cartels,” said Vance, arguing that a Republican-controlled U.S. Congress should refuse to fund any Biden priorities until the border is secured.

Vance is among the endorsed candidates who contends the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Multiple investigations, election audits and court rulings nationwide, along with Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr, found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems that would have changed the fact that Biden won the majority of the popular and electoral college votes.

Vance faces U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp., in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

“While Tim spends the final days of this election barnstorming Ohio and talking to voters in every corner of the state, J.D. Vance is ending his campaign the same way he began it — leaning entirely on out-of-state allies to come in and prop him up because Ohioans know he’s an out-of-state fraud who has only ever been out for himself,” said Izzi Levy, communications director for Ryan’s campaign.

“That’s why next week Ohioans are going to send Tim to the Senate and J.D. back to Silicon Valley where he belongs.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Trump’s outdoor rally was conducted at Wright Brothers Aero Inc.. at the Dayton International Airport, where he had campaign rallies in 2016 and 2020.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters called Trump’s visit a desperate effort to save GOP candidates.

“From a California transplant running for senate whose campaign has been on life support from the beginning, to a governor who has been running for office for 40 years that Trump once called on Republicans to primary, it’s clear these Republicans need all the help they can get,” Waters said in a Monday news release.

“We’re confident Ohio voters will see through the last minute act of desperation and elect Democrats up and down the ballot tomorrow.”

Trump supporters in the rally audience raised some hot button issues in interviews with reporters.

Jamar Smith, 35, of Dayton, said his top deciding factors when determining who to vote for include immigration, religious freedom, and the economy.

“I’m looking for a leader to enforce the original intent of immigration where people come in legally through the right process,” Smith said.

Donald Diller, a U.S. military veteran from Springfield who is concerned about inflation, said he supports Trump, and the GOP, because it gives him “hope.”

“The direction that we’re headed is not a direction that I like,” Diller said. “I served in the military for over 22 years before retiring and our country is just turning into something that I don’t agree with.”

Among the rally speakers was U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, who said the country is in terrible shape, called for impeaching Biden and denounced accommodations made for transgender people.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“We need a Republican Party that is focused on America first,” said Greene, criticizing U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, former Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney.

She praised Trump and said, “I think we’ll bring him back.”

The other candidates endorsed by Trump who spoke included: U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton; U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana; U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy; U.S. Rep. Mike Carey, R-Columbus; 7th Congressional District candidate Max Miller of Shaker Heights and 9th Congressional District candidate J.R. Majewski of Port Clinton.

Jordan’s opponent is Democrat Tamie Wilson of Delaware; Turner faces Democrat David Esrati of Dayton; Carey’s Democratic opponent is Gary Josephson of Columbus; and Davidson’s challenger is Democrat Vanessa Enoch of Butler County. Former Trump aide Miller is running against Democrat Matthew Diemer of Bay Village and Majewski faces U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo.

DeWine faces former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, in the governor’s race.

Staff writers Aimee Hancock and Avery Kreemer contributed to this report.

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