By Tom Jackson
April 22, 2021
SANDUSKY — Working to stand out in a crowded field of Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate, former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken campaigned in Sandusky on Wednesday.
Timken, 54, was chairman of the Ohio Republican Party from 2017 until February when she stepped down to mount her Senate bid.
Timken spoke Wednesday to the Erie County Republican Women and points out that if she wins, she’d be Ohio’s first woman in the U.S. Senate.
“I’ve always been fighting for women to get more involved in the political arena, which is why talking to groups like the Erie County Republican Women’s Club is so important,” Timken said. “We need more women leaders.”
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has announced he won’t seek re-election next year, and the news that the seat is coming open has generated plenty of excitement among would-be senators.
Timken’s best-known rival so far in next year’s GOP primary is Josh Mandel, a former Ohio state treasurer who has run before for the U.S. Senate.
Other Republican candidates in the race are Mike Gibbons, a Cleveland businessman who ran in 2018; Bernie Moreno, a Cleveland businessman; Michael Leipold, a former U.S. Army Apache helicopter pilot; Zachary Musick, Neil Patel and Mackenzie Thompson. Former Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is listed as a “senior advisor” to Moreno.
No prominent Democrats have announced yet, but U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Youngstown Democrat, apparently plans to run and could make an announcement soon.
Most of the Republican candidates, including Timken, have emphasized they support former President Donald Trump. Trump hasn’t issued an endorsement in the race.
“My career has been defined by getting involved and not sitting on the sidelines waiting for others to fix the problems Ohio faces,” Timken said. “From ousting Kasich’s hand-picked party chair and being President Trump’s number one surrogate in Ohio, to now running to stop Joe Biden and the Democrats’ agenda that is threatening Ohio’s progress, I have a record of delivering results.”
Timken defeated incumbent GOP chairman Matt Borges in 2017. Borges was arrested last year along with four other Republicans, including former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, in connection with the First Energy bribery scandal.