COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the Columbus suburb of Dublin last week, Jane Timken launched what she calls a "Parents for Jane Coalition."

What You Need To Know

  • Former Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken is one of six major GOP candidates running for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat

  • Spectrum News spent a day on the trail with Timken last week as she campaigned in Columbus

  • Education has become a cornerstone of Timken’s bid

  • Timken is vying for Donald Trump’s endorsement and attended a fundraiser at the former president’s Florida resort last week

“This is all about parents having a voice in their child’s education,” Timken told the crowd of over 100 gathered inside a community recreation center.

What’s being taught in schools, and how much say parents have, is emerging as a cornerstone of Timken’s campaign for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat.

She’s issued what she calls a “Parents First Curriculum” that promotes popular conservative policies like support for school choice and opposition to critical race theory.

It’s similar to the campaign Republican Glenn Youngkin mounted to become Virginia’s governor, though Timken says it was her strategy first.

“Before Glenn Youngkin made it a part of his campaign, it was a part of my campaign,” she told Spectrum News after her launch event.

Timken, the wife of former TimkenSteel CEO Tim Timken, has spent at least $2 million of her own money on the race.

She’s a first-time candidate, but no stranger to politics.

Timken headed the Ohio Republican Party throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, which allowed her to forge ties to him and top Republicans across the state.


She leaned on her party connections to build a network of interns who have already contacted 1 million voters and helped her collect 3,000 signatures that she submitted last week to appear on the ballot — the first candidate in the race to do so.

During a campaign swing through central Ohio last week, Timken visited a Women’s Care Center — an anti-abortion facility — in Columbus. 

She frequently visits these facilities across the state to talk up her opposition to abortion rights and her experience as a mom, a subtle hint that Timken is the only woman among the six top Republican candidates.


“Look how cute these christening gowns are too. Oh my gosh!” Timken said while touring the center’s collection of baby items.

Timken also differentiates herself from the crowded Senate field by touting her time as state party chair under Trump, whose agenda she pushed while traveling Ohio extensively.

Last week, Timken even left the campaign trail to attend a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and get face time with him — just one more sign of Trump’s outsized influence in the primary.

Like all but one of the major Republican candidates, she covets Trump’s endorsement.

But before she entered the race, Timken defended Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s vote to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol Riot.

“I think he’s got a rational reason why he voted that way,” Timken told in an interview in Jan. 2021, while she was still party chair.

A few weeks later, after entering the Senate race, she called for Gonzalez to resign.

In an interview last week, Timken argued her support for Trump never wavered. She made clear she backs his baseless claim of massive fraud in the 2020 election, despite it being refuted by recounts, audits and court challenges.

“I think it was widespread in this case,” Timken told Spectrum News.

“Enough to be considered stolen?” she was asked.

“— And I've said publicly that I would not have certified the election,” Timken said.

At the rollout of her parents coalition, many of the attendees said they liked what they heard.

“I think that she’s articulate and she doesn’t pander,” Roy Nichols, who lives in Westerville, said.

“She has a very unique focus on family, parents. And because she has her own children too,” said Tamra Pok, who lives in Worthington.

But some voters are still trying to learn who Timken the candidate is.

“I know it was a one-topic parents thing, but because we’re kind of new to her, I think she should’ve summarized a couple other issues,” Donna Jaskee, of Upper Arlington, said after the event.

With the primary set for May 3, Timken has just over three more months to make her case.

“This is a movement. This is not just a talking point for me,” she told the crowd at her event in Dublin.

Spectrum News Washington Bureau Reporter Taylor Popielarz also spent a day on the trail with candidates Mike Gibbons and JD Vance. Those stories will be published separately this week.