COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio’s U.S. Senate race inches closer to its Primary Day in May, Republican Jane Timken became the first candidate to formally file to be on the ballot on Thursday.

What You Need To Know

  • Jane Timken on Thursday became the first candidate in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race to formally file for the ballot

  • Timken, the former chair of the Ohio GOP, is one of six major Republican candidates running in the race

  • Timken’s campaign is hoping its statewide ground game will pay off in the competitive primary

  • Recent polling has former state treasurer Josh Mandel in the lead for the GOP nomination

Timken, the former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party, is one of six major GOP candidates seeking to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman.

“I am proud to be running a grassroots campaign, fueled by Ohioans who are eager for fresh leadership, a conservative champion, and a proven fighter for the America First agenda,” Timken said in a statement to Spectrum News.

Timken submitted 2,800 signatures, collected in all 88 of Ohio’s counties, to the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday.

Candidates for statewide office have until Feb. 2 to submit at least 1,000 signatures from “qualified electors who are members of the same political party as the candidate,” according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Timken’s campaign has worked to build what it calls a “statewide infrastructure” that includes county chairs in all of Ohio’s counties and a slew of volunteers who have already made contact with 1 million voters.

The primary for this open Senate seat will be May 3.

The rest of the Republican field includes former state treasurer Josh Mandel, author and venture capitalist JD Vance, investment banker Mike Gibbons, luxury car dealer Bernie Moreno and state senator Matt Dolan.

On the Democratic side, current U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and progressive attorney Morgan Harper are facing off in the primary.