Mansfield News Journal: ’I’m not the kind of person who sits on the sidelines:’ Jane Timken visits Mansfield

By Monroe Trombly

April 28, 2021

MANSFIELD – Former Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken describes herself as someone who doesn’t sit on the sidelines.

“When I see something that’s a problem, I want to stand up and solve it,” she said. “That’s why I ran for chair of the party. I’m the kind of person that brings people together, solves the problem and makes a difference. That’s the kind of senator I will be.”

The Cincinnati native and Canton-area resident launched her bid to succeed fellow Republican Sen. Rob Portman two months ago and has been touring the state to meet with voters, especially Republican women.

On Tuesday, Timken was in Mansfield to speak with the Richland County Republican Women’s Club. Later this week she’ll be in Cincinnati.

“This race is going to be won by convincing the voters of Ohio that I am the best candidate for the U.S. Senate,” Timken said. “I’ve spent the past four years and 150,000 miles traveling the state, talking to voters.”

More:GOP state chair urges support of Ohio Supreme Court incumbents

Three other Republicans are running to succeed Portman: Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons; ex-state Treasurer Josh Mandel; Westlake auto dealer and tech investor Bernie Moreno. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a suburban Warren Democrat, also launched his campaign Monday.

Trump endorsement may be the key to winning

The endorsement of former President Donald Trump is considered key to winning the GOP primary. While attending a fundraiser last month at Trump’s West Palm Beach golf club, the four Republican contenders were summoned by the former president for a backroom meeting, as reported by Politico.

Trump helped Timken oust former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges in early 2017. Borges, who’s since been charged in a $60 million bribery scandal but maintains his innocence, was backed by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran against Trump in 2016.

During an interview with the News Journal at Nickel & Bean coffee shop in Lexington, Timken said she has a good relationship with the former president and would welcome his endorsement.

“It’s entirely up to him,” Timken said. “For now, I’m focused on winning the endorsement of Ohio voters. They’re the ones who are going to make this decision and I plan on being the next senator from Ohio.”

Local officials who’ve endorsed Timken so far include State Reps. Marilyn John and Bob Gibbs.

While Timken was state GOP chair, Trump won Ohio last year by a comfortable margin.

“I’ve been the one that’s out there advancing the America First agenda, which Ohioans overwhelmingly supported in the last election with President Trump winning Ohio by 8 points,” Timken said. “I’m the one that’s out there every day talking to voters and I plan on winning this race.”

In Timken’s latest ad, she pledges to finish Trump’s wall on the southern border, the construction of which has been paused.

“I think that walls work,” Timken said. “Nancy Pelosi has a wall around the Capitol. So, if it didn’t work, why does she have a wall?”

“It’s a deterrent and we need to have a border,” she continued.

Troubled by what she sees in D.C.

Timken is troubled by what she sees in Washington D.C.

She takes issue with President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill, saying it’s full of “Democrat pet projects” that have nothing to do with infrastructure and describes the sweeping voting rights measure in Congress, known as the For the People Act, as a “federal takeover of our state election systems.”

“I think it’s absolutely tilting the scales toward the Democrats,” Timken said. “That’s why I call it For the Democrats Act.

“This is all designed for their power,” she continued. “It’s not about making sure we have fair and free elections.”

Timken, 54, is vying to become the first woman to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in the Buckeye State before Democrats selected Liz Walters as their chair earlier this year.

Although the Senate campaign marks the first time Timken has run for public office, the Cincinnati Enquirer has described the political operative who’s largely been behind-the-scenes as an “adept fundraiser.”

Timken raised $2.1 million by the end of March for her bid, nearly half of which came from a personal loan.

“I’m in this race because I want to stand up for this country and Ohioans,” Timken said. “We need someone who’s going to be championing Ohio’s families, workers and businesses and caring about their prosperity and opportunity.”

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