Who won and who lost in Ohio and Indiana primary elections
By Azi Paybarah
Ohio’s consequential Republican Senate primary dominated much of the attention Tuesday evening, but it was far from the only race decided.
Here is a rundown of the winners and losers in some of the most important contests:
J.D. Vance won Ohio’s marquee race, the Republican Senate primary
The win by J.D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and a venture capitalist, who trailed in the polls until he was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, won the Republican nomination for Senate, giving Trump an early victory in the midterm election season.
Vance had transformed himself from a Never-Trumper in 2016 to a grateful recipient of Trump’s support.
He defeated a crowded field of candidates — most notably, Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, Matt Dolan and Jane Timken. Many had tried to position themselves in the mold of Trump, but it appears that the former president’s backing mattered the most.
Tim Ryan, who says ‘Americans first,’ won the Democratic Senate primary
The victory by Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat, means the November contest to replace Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who is retiring, will be a race between a seasoned politician on the left and a first-time candidate for office, Vance, on the right.
Ryan, who ran for president in 2020 complaining that the party had abandoned working-class voters, easily defeated two lesser-known, lesser-funded primary challengers: Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson.
Ryan echoed some of Trump’s rhetoric, if with a slight tweak: “Right now, we have to be Americans first,” Ryan said in a TV ad, the last two words sounding similar to Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Shontel Brown defeated her progressive challenger, Nina Turner, again
Rep. Shontel Brown, a Democrat, last defeated Nina Turner in a special election for this Ohio House seat just nine months ago. Now she has done it again.
Two Democratic heavyweights offered their endorsements late in the race: President Joe Biden, for Brown, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for Turner. And this time around, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC backed Brown.
Similar to their bitter 2021 matchup, Turner — who rose to national prominence as a surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders — was the subject of attack ads funded by several outside groups that described her as too far afield from the Democratic base to be effective.
Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican who doesn’t sound like Trump, easily won his primary
Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican who eschewed the combative and conspiratorial tones of Trump, easily dispatched the field of primary challengers that was led by Jim Renacci, who presented himself as a more Trump-aligned alternative to the governor.
DeWine, a low-key career politician who has been in elected office since the mid-1970s, won bipartisan praise for his handling of the pandemic — though not from Renacci, who wielded it against him. DeWine mainly stuck to bread-and-butter issues on the campaign trail, like cutting taxes and adding jobs.
Max Miller, a Trump White House aide, won his House primary
Max Miller, whom the former president endorsed, clinched the Republican nomination in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District — another deep-red district where Trump’s influence over the party was on display.
Two incumbents in the district declined to run. The first was Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who called Trump a “cancer” and retired after two terms.
The second, Rep. Bob Gibbs, was aligned with Trump but was forced into the race against Miller late in his campaign, because of redistricting. He opted to retire, which more or less cleared the field for Miller.
Miller was accused of assault by an ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary. Miller has denied the accusation and has sued Grisham.
A Trump-endorsed Pence (not that one) won his primary in Indiana
Rep. Greg Pence, a Republican and an older brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, easily beat his nominal primary opponent, James Alspach.
The elder Pence joined more than 140 other Republicans in the House in voting to overturn the presidential election results after a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. The younger Pence, who some in the mob had targeted, angered Trump and his supporters in saying he did not have the constitutional power to overturn the results.
The older Pence has said he stands by his brother.
J.R. Majewski will be the Republican to challenge Kaptur this fall
J.R. Majewski, a self-styled political outsider, won the Republican nomination in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District and will face Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat who, if elected to her 21st term in November, would become the longest-serving female member of Congress.
The newly drawn district in the northern part of the state now tilts Republican, and attracted three well-funded Republican candidates, as well as spending from outside interest groups.
Majewski sought to tap into Trump’s MAGA energy, showing himself in television ads holding a gun as he told viewers, “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to return this country back to its former glory.”
He defeated Craig Riedel and Theresa Gavarone, state legislators who also ran as Trump-style conservatives.