WASHINGTON, D.C. — A second candidate has officially entered Ohio’s 2022 U.S. Senate race to succeed retiring Senator Rob Portman.

What You Need To Know

  • Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, launched her U.S. Senate campaign on Thursday

  • She and former state treasurer Josh Mandel are the two Republicans formally in the race so far

  • Timken is running as a pro-Trump candidate who helped Trump win Ohio in 2020

  • Her years as party chair provide a strong foundation, though Mandel starts with more money

In what is her first campaign for elected office, Jane Timken is hoping to use the connections she made as chair of the Ohio Republican Party to her advantage.

“For the last four years, I've traveled around the state, put 150,000 miles on my car talking to grassroots supporters and electing Republicans up and down the ticket, advancing the America First agenda. And proudly, I delivered Ohio for President Trump by more than eight points,” Timken told Spectrum News in a virtual interview shortly after launching her campaign Thursday.

Timken’s announcement comes one week after former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel became the first candidate to formally declare in the race to succeed Portman (R-Ohio), who will retire in 2022. 

Though more candidates from both parties are expected to join the rare open Senate race, Timken and Mandel jumping in early sets up a showdown over who is the bigger advocate for former President DonaldTrump.

“He fought for our freedoms and he fought for Americans first, and I intend to do that in the United States Senate,” Timken said of Trump.

In an interview last week, Mandel made his own case for why he’s the most pro-Trump candidate.

Timken is a Cincinnati native who has raised her family in northeast Ohio after marrying Tim Timken of the Timken Steel Corporation.

She attended Harvard before getting her law degree in Washington and was an attorney before getting involved in local Ohio politics as vice chair of the Stark County GOP.

In 2017, Timken was elected chair of the Ohio Republican Party thanks in part to a Trump endorsement — making her the first woman to chair a major Ohio political party.

She has spent the last four years crisscrossing the state pushing the Trump agenda and furthering the GOP’s dominance in Ohio.

“I think it was very impactful,” Timken told Spectrum. “And I think that's why I'm uniquely positioned to win and keep this seat. I understand Ohio voters, I understand how to win. That's exactly what I intend to do.”

Timken’s statewide connections are a big advantage as she enters this race, but Mandel started his campaign with more than $4 million leftover from his last run for Senate, so Timken has to catch up financially.

But she has already hired two of Sen. Portman’s key campaign staffers from his 2016 reelection race, a sign that the Ohio Republican establishment is behind her.

Timken’s policy pitch focuses on reopening the country after coronavirus lockdowns and stopping President Joe Biden’s agenda.

She called the recent impeachment of Trump a “sham” and doesn’t blame Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol or condemn him for falsely claiming the election was stolen. 

If elected, she would be Ohio’s first woman U.S. senator.

“I think I'm the best candidate to win and keep this seat, and so I think that's the number one priority, but I always encourage women to be involved in politics,” Timken said.

More Republicans are expected to enter the race, as are some Ohio Democrats — though none have officially jumped in yet.