“There are many choices, and a lot of them are my friends. But I’ve known Jane for a long time and I’ve watched her in action,” during her tenure as chair of the state GOP, he said.
“It’s also great for us to have a strong Republican woman running. We need more women in the senate on both sides of the aisle.” said Portman, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Timken said she was thrilled to receive Portman’s endorsement.
“He’s been a great statesman for Ohio and for our country, and the fact that he has endorsed me gives incredible momentum to my campaign,” Timken said in an interview on Thursday.
Timken is one of seven Republican primary candidates. The others are state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls; businessman Mike Gibbons of Cleveland; former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel of Beachwood; businessman Neil Patel of Westerville; businessman Mark Pukita of Dublin; and businessman J.D. Vance of Cincinnati.
The Democratic primary candidates are: attorney Morgan Harper of Columbus; Traci Johnson of Hilliard; and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp. in Trumbull County.
“Jane Timken is a political fraud who is so desperate to stay relevant in Ohio’s nasty and chaotic GOP Senate primary that she’ll claim the Trump mantle one day, and celebrate the endorsement of Rob Portman — one of the Senate’s most Trump-skeptical Republicans — the next,” said Michael Beyer, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party.
“Timken’s campaign has failed to gain traction because Ohioans see straight through her never-ending and blatantly self-serving political calculations.”
Timken said she unified Republicans, kept Statehouse and Congressional delegation majorities and delivered Ohio for former President Donald Trump.
Trump won the state but lost the national election to Joe Biden in November 2020. Asked if she believes Biden won, Timken said there were “serious issues” with the election, and there hasn’t been enough audits and investigations of the voting.
Timken said she worked hard to make sure Ohio’s election was secure, but she believes that wasn’t the case in other states.
“There were all sorts of, I believe, shenanigans and we need to focus on securing our elections and that has to be a priority for all,” Timken said.
Multiple investigations, audits and court judgments across the U.S. found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security in 2020 declared the election the most secure in U.S. history.
Timken said her priorities are American jobs, battling inflation and opioid addiction, improving workforce development and “putting parents first.”
Trump has not endorsed in the GOP primary, but Timken said Trump endorsed her to be state party chair.
“Ohio Republican voters need to know that I am the only candidate who is the true America First candidate, whose been in the trenches fighting for the America First policies,” Timken said.
She criticized President Biden for his handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation and the Southern border, which she said is contributing to the drug problem.
“The Southern border absolutely has to be shut down if we are going to combat the opioid epidemic,” Timken said.
Timken and Portman both said the U.S. needs to increase pressure on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine, where a Russian attack on a Ukraine nuclear facility set it afire Thursday night.
“Last night a war crime was committed,” Portman said in reference to that attack.
Timken said the U.S. should have hit Russia with sanctions before the invasion and should stop buying oil from it.
When asked to comment on Friday’s news that the U.S. gained 678,000 jobs in February and unemployment dropped to 3.8 percent, Timken said, she hears from companies who can’t find workers and she blamed Democrats for that.
She and Portman also visited Cincinnati and Columbus on Friday.
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